Hard-working pupils set their sights on playing in prestigious tournament

The year 11 football team who are going to compete in Sweden in July. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

The year 11 football team who are going to compete in Sweden in July. Picture: CONTRIBUTED - Credit: Archant

Helena Romanes School students will fly to Sweden to play in the world’s largest youth football tournament, which will host about 1,700 teams from 80 nations in July.

Members of a Year 11 boy’s football team will travel to Gothenburg on July 14 to compete in The Gothia Cup and have raised more than £300 for activities such as paintballing, whilst they are out there.

They have raised this money by covering the distance between Dunmow and Gothenburg (approximately 600 miles) through walking to school, kicking a ball, or just strolling around Dunmow, within six weeks.

Student George Frodsham, 15, who has played football since he was four, said: “It is motivation. We know at the end of this year we are going to get one of the best trips, and do what we love.”

Carl Layton, 16, said: “It is just the feeling of playing football at one of the biggest tournaments.” Callum Pinto, 16, added: “And we will meet new people.”

The boys, who are currently doing their GCSEs not only dribble and tackle together but also study together, as they are all in the same form.

Form teacher Vanessa Cheyne said: “They even keep a football in their cupboard. At any given opportunity they go off with the ball. The whole idea is to work together as a team.

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“This trip has been their incentive to really knuckle down and work hard academically this year. They have exceeded our expectations.”

The team have been study for an extra two hours a week at school, including an hour of English, to prepare for their exams.

Chris Allom, raising achievement leader for Year 11, said: “It is a structured study time, and for the boys, the football is the thing that makes it sustainable.”

A team also played in the tournament last year, and the members performed well in their GCSEs, he added.

The Gothia Cup was first held in 1975. The tournament was started by the football associations BK Häcken, GAIS and a local newspaper.

Over the years, almost a million players from a total of 146 countries have participated.