Gillingham FC are delighted to announce the winners of the recent Local Finals of the Girls and Kids Football League Cups

Our Community Trust team have just finished hosting the Local Finals of the Kinder+Sport Football League Kids Cup and Kinder+Sport Football League Girls Cup.

The competition gives Primary and Secondary Schools in Kent the opportunity to compete in a Nationwide Tournament which culminates in the final being played at Wembley Stadium before the League One Play-off final in May and the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy in March.

We had huge interest in the tournament from schools all across Kent and many had been in training since last year’s competitions, with the hope of emulating previous winners. Both tournaments took place at Kicks Soccer Centre in Strood and a huge thank you goes to them for their help and hospitality throughout the day.

We also welcomed Mid-Kent College Sports Students who volunteered to officiate on the day along with our GFC Girls Academy Players.

Once the group stages were complete and the results finalised the eight schools progressing through to the Quarter-Finals of the Kids Cup were revealed and saw Swalecliffe Primary School v Lady Johanna Thornhill Primary School, Ashford St Mary’s Church of England Primary School v Park Wood Junior School, Featherby Juniors School v Delce Primary School and Maypole Primary School v Joy Lane Primary School.

As expected the quarter-finals were very tight and saw Lady Joanna Thornhill and Ashford St Mary’s winning on penalties after 0-0 draws, Featherby winning 3-1 and Joy Lane winning 2-0.

First team players Bradley Dack and Danny Kedwell joined in the celebrations in the afternoon and showed their support as the teams battled it out for a place in the Final.

The semi-finals were again very close with Lady Joanna Thornhill narrowly beating Ashford St Mary’s 2-1 to see them through to the final while Featherby came from a goal down to win 3-1 against Joy Lane.

The Kids Cup Final was re-scheduled and held at the First Team Training Ground last Friday where Featherby took on Lady Joanna Thornhill. It was a very exciting match, with some fantastic football on display played in a great spirit, unfortunately though, there could only be one winner and Featherby were able to do enough to see them add the title of the Kids Cup to their HTSO crown.

The Girls Cup started with the group stages and every school played each team in their group twice, with the top two teams advancing into the Quarter-finals.

 The Quarter-finals were between Rainham School for Girls v Leigh Academy, Harris Academy Falconwood v Maidstone Grammar School for Girls, Herne Bay High v Strood Academy (A) and Community College Whitstable v St Gregory’s Catholic School.

The matches were again very close and saw Rainham Girls, Harris Academy, Herne Bay and St Gregory’s progress into the semi -finals. Both were very tight games but Rainham Girls and Harris Academy did just enough to see them through to the final.

Harris Academy eventually prevailed and scored some fantastic goals to see them claim the crown. First Team Players Leon Legge and Josh Pritchard attended the latter stages of the tournament and were on hand to congratulate the team on all their hard work and success.

On Saturday 11th October before the Gills took on Scunthorpe Utd, the finalists from the Kids and Girls Cups were invited onto the pitch for a presentation. The teams were introduced to the crowd and received their medals and trophies in front of the Gills fans before having their picture taken pitch side with the GFC Gems.

Harris Academy Falconwood will now go on and represent Gillingham Football Club at the Area Finals of the Girls Cup, hosted by Southend United at the start of next year, with the winner on the day progressing on to the Regional Finals and hopefully on to the National Final, which takes place before the Final of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy in March.

Featherby Junior School now go on to represent Gillingham Football Club at the Regional Finals of the Kids Cup, which will be hosted by Swindon Town next March, with the winning team progressing on to the National Final taking place at Wembley before the final of the League One Play-off Final.

A huge thank you to all the teams, players, countless teachers, staff members, parents and supporters, Mid-Kent College and their students, GFC Girls Academy, Community Trust Coaches and Kicks who all helped to make the day a great success. 

Big thanks also to Bradley Dack, Danny Kedwell, Leon Legge and Josh Pritchard for coming along and supporting the tournaments.

And of course congratulations to both schools and good luck in the next stages of the tournament.