A day to remember for young Pembrokeshire footballers

Pembrokeshire boys looking good with their medals

The Pembrokeshire Schools FA Under 10s squad made the long journey to Norwich City Football Club last Sunday to play in a tournament at the Carrow Road Stadium. Norwich City played in the Premier League last season and for these youngsters to play on the pitch at Carrow Road will have given them memories that will last a lifetime, writes Bill Carne.

The players arrived at the Stadium by coach and after a tour of the changing rooms, it was time for team captain Jamie Cook (Pembroke Dock) to lead the team out from the tunnel in front of hundreds of supporters for their first game against Mulbarton Wanderers of Norfolk.

The Pembrokeshire squad started well before losing their second game . . .

The Pembrokeshire boys won this game 1-0 with Zach Loveridge (Waldo Williams School) getting the all-important goal. A clean sheet in the first game was also encouraging with Noah Bicknell (Prendergast) in goal along with defenders Jamie Cook (Pembroke Dock) and Toby Jones (Holy Name) looked strong at the back.

Next up were Bowers & Pitsea of Essex. Iori Williams (Ysgol Arberth) was captain for this game, but the boys quickly found themselves 3-0 down and there was no way back. However, James Burns (Lamphey) did score a consolation goal in a 3-1 defeat.

. . . But responded in a positive way with impressive four-goal wins

The players reacted in a positive way to this defeat with an impressive 4-0 victory over Harleston Youth of Norfolk with striker Logan Lewis (Pembroke Dock) scoring two poacher goals and captain Cai Price (Ysgol Caer Elen) scoring two long range efforts to secure the points.

Then the Pembrokeshire boys took on  New Buckenham JFC of Norfolk and claimed another impressive 4-0 victory. Harri Jones (Holy Name) kept a clean sheet in goal, Kieran Bevans (Gelliswick) worked hard up front and Isaac Jenkins (Ysgol Arberth) was captain for this game. James Burns (Lamphey) opened the scoring and in the move of the match, Jaden Petrie (Prendergast) crossed for Bobby Davies (Fenton) to head home at the far post. Jaden Petrie then got his name on the scoresheet before a stunning volley by Joe Davies (Ysgol Glannau Gwaun) completed the scoring.

Pembs U10s and coaches

Just missed out against eventual winners – who had Jack Wilshere with them

As the business end of the tournament approached, the county squad knew that a win in their final group game would see them through to the last four and possibly a place in the final. However, that last game was against Jack Wilshere’s undefeated and much-fancied NCF Elite Academy of Essex.
Jack Wilshere, who played 125 games for Arsenal, won the FA Cup twice and has 34 England caps, and he was in attendance and more than happy to have photos with the Pembrokeshire boys before the game.

Osian Mills (Ysgol Caer Elen) wore the captain’s armband for the biggest game of the day, but a 1-0 defeat to NCF Elite ended what had been an amazing journey for the boys as NCF Elite went on to win the tournament.
As an added bonus, the boys were offered one more game at Carrow Road before the long journey home. It was a fifth place play-off against Waveney Tigers of Suffolk, who finished third place in the other group. The game ended 2-2 with goals from Osian Mills (Ysgol Caer Elen) and Logan Lewis (Pembroke Dock).

A special day for the under 10s

And finally . . .

All of the children were presented with a Norwich City medal and coaches Matthew Price, Mikey Loveridge and Wyndham Williams must be very proud of these young players. Matthew Price told PembrokeshireSport.co.uk

 “In one day of football, we have watched the boys grow and develop. To finish in 5th place out of 12 is a great achievement. A big thank you must go to the parents for their support because none of this would be possible if it wasn’t for them; and they are a credit to their children.”

A photo shoot at pitch side at Carrow Road with former England star Jack Wilshere