Congratulations to the MGS U11 team who were crowned Independent Schools Football Champions on Tuesday 2nd May at the home of England Football, St George’s Park.
A total of 180 schools entered the competition in September 2022 and to qualify for the finals day teams had to either win or finish runner-up in their regional event. MGS qualified for this event for the 3rd successive year after reaching the final of the North-West Regional event held at Stockport Grammar School in March.
The team qualified 2nd after the group stages recording wins vs West House Prep (Birmingham) and Berkhamsted alongside draws with Twyford Prep, Brentwood & Greenfield (Woking). The nature of tournament football is that teams have a number of short games against various opposition – the top two schools placed in each group then qualify for the knockout stages. MGS progressed and faced Whitgift, a team which they coincidently played on their year 6 sports tour. A fast paced start led to a 3-1 win and a chance to play Downsend Prep (Surrey) in the semi-final – a repeat of the game in 2022! Goals were exchanged before MGS took the spoils 2-1 to reach the final.
MGS faced Berkhamsted in the final who had beaten Mill Hill in their semi-final on penalties, a repeat of the earlier group game. The game soon opened up and a single goal separated the teams accompanied with some excellent goalkeeping.
Junior School pupil Harry D commented on his experiences of playing in his final year of the Junior School: “Winning the ISFA tournament at St George’s Park has been the highlight of my junior school sporting journey so far. 10 boys, who are also my best friends, holding the trophy is a memory I will never forget. I feel proud for my school and had an amazing time through the entire tournament. What a way to end Year 6!”
Junior School pupil Manny said: “Winning the ISFA tournament was one of my best sporting successes ever. It was so fun to play at St Georges Park and win. I think it was the best day of my life. Thank you so much to Mr Bird and Mr Wilson who gave us the team spirit. Well done again to the 9 other boys. And thank you so much for all the staff and parents along the way; an amazing thing to support. Thank you!”
Junior School pupil Luca added: “Going to St George’s Park was a dream come true. I have been motivated to make the ISFA Finals since I first heard about it when I was in year 2 when a friend of mine’s brother won the title in 2018. I am so proud to be part of such a fantastic team.”
Junior School pupil Harry J said: “We had an amazing tournament and I am still so chuffed. Whilst we had a bit of slow start on the day, I am extremely happy that we did not lose a game and that we beat all the other competition to be crowned champions. I am lucky to have played at different venues however playing at St Georges Park was a real highlight, I loved it”.
Andrew Bird, Head of Junior School PE and Games, commented on their success: “MGS have lifted the ISFA Cup for the first time and should be extremely proud of their achievements. Although only 10 boys were involved in the finals day a number of others played their part throughout the campaign. This squad also added 3 other prestigious events to their trophy cabinet during the season, winning the AJIS Cup and also tournaments hosted by Manchester United and Manchester City Academies. Well done all!”
What a huge achievement - well done to everyone involved, including all other competing schools!