Ryan helps teams prepare for Premier League schools tournament
20 May 2015|Tottenham Hotspur
Two school teams representing the Club in the eighth annual Premier League Schools Tournament had a surprise visit from Ryan Mason earlier this week when he dropped in on their training session at Hotspur Way.
Fortismere School’s U13 girls team and Oakthorpe Primary School’s U11 mixed team beat off fierce competition from 60 schools from four local boroughs to qualify for a place representing Tottenham Hotspur in the final.
This year, the tournament will be held at White Hart Lane and will see 400 young players represent their local Premier League club competing in U11 mixed and U13 girls categories.
In preparation for the big day, both Fortismere and Oakthorpe were invited to take part in a special training session using the facilities at our world-class training centre.
Below: Ryan watches from the sidelines
Whilst meeting both teams, Ryan talked about what it feels like to pull on a Tottenham Hotspur shirt and walk through the tunnel towards the pitch at White Hart Lane. He also offered advice on how to prepare for a big game as well as observing some of the young players’ skills during their training session with coaches from Tottenham Hotspur Foundation.
Ryan said: “The Premier League Schools Tournament is a big deal to these kids - it really does mean a lot to them, especially after they’ve worked so hard to make it to the finals. I wish them all the best of luck in the finals and hope they enjoy the experience of playing at White Hart Lane as much as I do.”
The draw for the Finals was made last month by Eric Dier and Nabil Bentaleb, where Spurs were placed in Group C alongside London rivals West Ham and Crystal Palace, along with Hull City and Aston Villa.
Following the group stages, the tournament will take on a knockout format with the Premier League Schools Tournament champions being crowned and presented with a replica Premier League trophy by some very special guests at the end of the day in front of an expected 1,000 spectators.
Below: Ryan meets the players
All the students participating on the day will receive an authentic Premier League experience - wearing their Premier League club kit, using the White Hart Lane dressing rooms and walking out of the tunnel to the Premier League anthem, and even having their matches refereed by Premier League match officials.
Grant Cornwell MBE, CEO of Tottenham Hotspur Foundation, said: “We’ve had local schools representing us in the Premier League Schools Tournament for a number of years now but this year is extra special because we’re hosting it at White Hart Lane. Our coaches have been putting the teams from Fortismere and Oakthorpe through their paces to make sure they’re ready for the finals. Good luck to teams and most importantly have fun and enjoy the day because that’s what playing sport is all about at this young age.”
The Schools Tournament will feature across Club channels later this week, with a special episode of BBC Match of the Day Kickabout airing on Saturday, May 23, at 7.40am.
You can follow news on Twitter with hashtag #plschools.