Utilita Kids Cup

A youth soccer team in red uniforms posing together on the field.

The Utilita Kids Cup is a national tournament for junior footballers which offers children the once in a lifetime opportunity to play at Wembley Stadium.

The Cup involves over 16,000 children and creates one of the country’s largest national football competitions, which culminates in exciting finals at Wembley Stadium in front of thousands of fans before a major national final, as schoolchildren live out their dream.

The Utilita Kids Cup comprises of a seven-a-side competition for U11 schoolchildren and culminates in three finals across the Sky Bet EFL Play-Off weekend in May.

The road to the finals starts when the new school term starts. Each EFL club organises a Utilita Kids Cup local competition for all local schools wishing to take part.

The Clubs are first split into 3 divisions, in line with club’s divisional status, before being again split into two groups, north and south. The winners of the divisional northern and southern finals will then qualify for the chance to play before the Sky Bet EFL Play-Off Final of the relevant division.

The Grimsby Final was played between Signholls and Wybers Wood Academy, where Wybers Wood won and went on to reprersent Grimsby Town at the Regional phase.

On Thursday 14th March, Grimsby Town Foundation took the Wybers Wood team across to Accrington Stanley for the tournament.

The boys came out fighting, their group phase games were:

v Morecambe – Won 4-0

v Doncaster – Won 1-0

v Tranmere – Won 1-0

v Crewe – Draw 0-0

v Wrexham – Lost 2-0

As the furthest travelling team, we were hugely impressed by the boys effort and attitude to every game, although disappointed with their loss against Wrexham, we were joint first in the B group and were set to face Stockport in a semi final.

Stockport had won their group and were rumored to be a highly skilled team. But once again the Grimsby Town team, with a mixture of years 4,5 and 6 players did not let it phase them. With a wonder goal scored by Sowerby from a goal kick, the boys fought hard to keep their 1-0 lead, the Stockport boys managed to pull it back to 1-1 and this led to a penalty shoot out to decide who went through to play against an already qualified Bradford. Grimsby Town boys kept their head and won 4-3.

The final against Bradford City saw two evenly matched teams battling it out. Both teams missed plenty of opportunities and were both playing quality football. 0-0 at half time was probably a fair score. The Grimsby Town boys were put under a lot of pressure in the start of the second half and the Bradford team managed to put one in. Continuing to battle for the remaining time, the Grimsby Town boys just could not find that finishing touch and it ended 1-0.