School's 'greatest ever sporting achievement' could take them to Wembley

Clifford Rd Primary School football team. L-R James Allison, Zion Makan, Leo Mitchell, Steve Wood, J

Clifford Rd Primary School football team. L-R James Allison, Zion Makan, Leo Thompson, Steve Wood, Jack Newman, Arthur Allen, Zack Mitchell, Nathan French, Kian Brock. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown - Credit: Archant

Children from Clifford Road Primary School have won the chance to represent Ipswich Town in a prestigious national football competition, despite having no green area at the school to practice on. 

The team from Clifford Road is one step away from playing at Wembley Stadium in the Utilita Kids Cup, having won the local stage of the tournament without losing a game on finals day. 

A total of 20 local schools took part in the competition that saw them play at Portman Road. 

The Clifford Road team is coached by school sports teacher Jack Newman - and they won five and drew two games on the final day of competition to be crowned champions.

Clifford Rd Primary School football team. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown

Clifford Rd Primary School football team. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown - Credit: Archant

But the achievement is made all the more special because of the adversity the team faces; Clifford Road Primary School doesn't have green space to hold football practice. 

Headteacher at Clifford Road Primary Steve Wood said: "It's just a brilliant story for the children. I think it's the school's greatest ever sporting achievement. 

"And to have achieved it without all the best resources - all the training is either done on the tarmac or once a week at Goals - proves that tenacity and commitment really pays off. 

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"The past 18 months have been tremendously difficult but as a school we're committed to making sure children enjoy their time here. 

"English and maths are obviously hugely important but we also want to concentrate on art, music and sport to keep the curriculum vibrant. 

"We know that every child has a chance to fulfil their potential - regardless of whether they have a school field." 

Clifford Rd Primary School football team. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown

Clifford Rd Primary School football team. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown - Credit: Archant

Mike Phillips, schools development manager for Ipswich Town's Community Trust, said: "To reach this stage the children have already won Ipswich Town's local competition held at Portman Road and they are now a step away from a once in a lifetime experience of playing at Wembley Stadium. We wish them the best of luck." 

The Utilita Kids Cup sees all 72 EFL clubs run a tournament for their local schools, with the winners from each local tournament competing to play in the final at Wembley Stadium. 

Previous participants in the children's tournament include Manchester United midfielder and Scotland international Scott McTominay and Crystal Palace midfielder Will Hughes. 

This year around 14,000 children aged under 11 are estimated to have taken part in the group stages of the competition.