Pupils from Cheam Park Primary Academy will come back after the Christmas break with their Wembley dreams well and truly alive after winning the AFC Wimbledon Kids Cup.
Cheam Park edged out Wimbledon Park Primary School 1-0 in a well contested play-off, which was staged just before Christmas, and both sets of players could be proud of their efforts with a record entry of 38 schools starting out in the tournament.
Our Assistant Manager Glyn Hodges presented both teams with medals and Cheam Park pupils (pictured) received the shield for winning the competition.
Organised by our Foundation, the EFL Trust Kids Cup has grown with every season, as thousands of children participate in tournaments run by clubs all around the country. Cheam Park will now go through to the regional finals in March with a chance to reach Wembley.
Adam Wicks, PE teacher at Cheam Park, said: “It’s excellent to win it as the tournament included a lot of good teams. It’s great for the boys to represent AFC Wimbledon in the next round and we are going to do our best to win it. It will obviously be a tough challenge.
“Everything was very well organised and we had a nice trophy to take home last time. I did a bit of work in the past for the Foundation and the Academy, so I know the club quite well. We are over at Cheam, but this is our local club in the Football League, and it’s great to be a part of this. We have a big hurdle to climb if we want to get to that point (reaching Wembley), but that’s the ultimate aim.”
Scott Lockwood, Lead Schools Sports Coach at the AFC Wimbledon Foundation, added: “We started with 38 teams this time around, which was up 50 per cent on the last one. For Cheam Park Farm, it’s their first time of entering the tournament, and now they’ve gone through to represent the club in the next round. Wimbledon Park come here every year so they’ve done well again.
“We’ve gone from having 10 schools involved in the very first one we staged to five years later almost hitting the 40 mark. We will be looking to almost double that figure next year if we can and we will probably have to do it over two days next time. The increase in numbers shows how much the Foundation has progressed and we had a 12-team waiting list of schools also wanting to take part.
“It was fantastic to stage the play-off at the training ground. When the kids came in they watched the last part of the first-team training session and Glyn Hodges presenting the awards at the end was a really nice touch. Adam Wick is an ex-Wimbledon coach as well, so it’s fantastic to keep those links with the local community.”
AFC Wimbledon have a good pedigree in the Kids Cup with Cleves School (Weybridge) having twice represented the club at Wembley in the past three years and they won it on both occasions. All at AFC Wimbledon wish Cheam Park good luck in the next round.