Schoolboys handed cup final dreams

Priory School won the under-15s The News Cup in 2012
Priory School won the under-15s The News Cup in 2012
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Young Portsmouth footballers have been handed their dreams of playing at Fratton Park.

The Pompey Supporters’ Trust have moved to ensure schools’ cup finals will be played at the Blues’ home.

That’s after the club opted out of offering their ground as a venue while the uncertainty over their future continued.

With the Trust completing their takeover last week they have agreed dates for a series of schools finals, as well as the Portsmouth Senior Cup final.

The News Trophy and Supporters’ Cup will take place next Tuesday, with the Vera Stokes and Vernon Stokes Trophies scheduled for next Friday. The senior cup final will take place next Wednesday.

The under-11 Supporters’ Cup will take place for the last time as an 11-a-side final, with changes taking place to the game’s structure at grass-roots level.Langstone Junior School and Lyndhurst Junior School will battle it out for that honour (5pm) before Mayfield take on Milton Cross for The News Trophy at under-15 level (6.10pm).

Portsmouth Schools will meet Woking at under-11 level in the Vera Stokes Trophy (5pm) with the city’s under-15 representative side taking on Aldershot in the Vernon Stokes Trophy (6.10pm).

Portsmouth Schools Football Association (PSFA) have been left delighted by the outcome.

PSFA spokesman Graham Bryant paid tribute to the Trust for their efforts in allowing the finals to take place at Fratton Park.

He said: ‘We can’t thank the Trust enough for everything they have done. These children will talk about playing at Fratton Park for years to come – it will mean everything to them.

‘A lot of these children would not normally be able to get to Fratton Park.

‘I’m sure Pompey will pick up new fans as a result of this.’

Trust spokesman Colin Farmery knows the importance of the schools’ finals remaining at Pompey’s home.

He said: ‘It’s just been a case of finding dates that matched and suited everyone.

‘These events are an important part of the community.’