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EFL Kids Cup finalists visit Saddlers stars

22 March 2024


EFL Kids Cup finalists visit Saddlers stars

22 March 2024

Earlier this week, Head Coach Mat Sadler and the players welcomed the football team from Cooper & Jordan C of E Primary School who will be representing Walsall FC at the EFL Utilita Kids Cup final, staged at Wembley Stadium prior to the Sky Bet League Two play-off final.

Cooper & Jordan will be looking for their second successive Kids Cup title after winning the competition last year, beating Stockport County at last season’s play-off final.

The team got the opportunity to watch the first team train, have a kick-around, and they also received some words of wisdom from first team players and coaches alike.

One Saddlers star who knows first hand about lifting the EFL Kids Cup is Danny Johnson, who won it himself this week back in 2004, representing Middlesbrough.  

He couldn’t wait to share his experiences with the lads from Cooper & Jordan and recall his memories from playing in the competition.

“It’s crazy, I was speaking with my mates this week thinking it must have been around this time and we found out it was on March 21st 2004, we played in the exact same final as these lads,” Johnson explained.  

“It’s a platform for people to go and play, it’s great enjoyment for the kids and it’s a great competition. When I saw them here, I had to tell them because it gives them something to look up to and you never know, in 20 years time, they might be doing the same to another group of school kids.”

Cooper & Jordan have had to work hard to reach Wembley again. Walsall FC Foundation organise the local competition between schools in the borough which saw Cooper & Jordan come out on top to represent the Saddlers.

They then went to the Southern Area Final in Swindon and their triumph there saw them qualify for the final at Wembley.

Walsall FC Foundation Operations Manager Paul Larvin was pleased that the lads got the opportunity to visit the training ground and get some tips from the players before the big day.

“The team had a fantastic day meeting Mat Sadler and all the players,” said Larvin.

“It was a great experience for the kids to watch the team train and speak to the players.

“It was really inspiring for them and even better that they could see a player who has played in the same competition is now a professional footballer.”  

We would like to wish Cooper & Jordan the best of luck for the final at Wembley!

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