Smith Street Champions!

Osmani Trust’s Football In the Community (FITC) project held their annual School’s Championship last week at Christ Church school to draw the curtains on what has been a very busy year for the school based coaching programme.

The FITC project has been working with schools in Tower Hamlets and Newham providing football coaching during lunch time and after school as part of the extended schools provisions.  The project over the last academic year has worked with six schools providing more than nine sessions per week and reaching out to over 150 young people each week.  The school base coaching programme has become very popular and the demand for the programme has been high throughout the year.

This year’s Schools Championship was attended by Christ Church, Virginia, Smithy Street and Chisenhale Primary schools, a total of six teams competed to be crowed champions.  In the blistering afternoon heat the excited young people along with their teachers saw some fantastic football, if only the England team showed as much passion and desire as these young footballers we may still be in the World Cup.

The group stages were toughly fought, with Smithy Street and Chisenhale looking very strong as they both headed through to the semi-final stages with two teams from Virginia School.  In the first semi-final Chisenhale took on Virginia A, both teams looked nervous but created good chances but neither could break the dead lock so the match went to the dreaded penalty shootout.  Again more excitement as both teams were locked at 2-2 after 3 penalties each, this meant sudden death.  Virginia took the first sudden death penalty and scored, the pressure was on now for Chisenhale to score, however the penalty came back off the cross bar to see Virginia A book themselves in the Final.

The second Semi Final between Smith Street and Virginia B again was full of excitement and drama, with the match once again going to a penalty shootout. At this point the heat was taking its toll on the young players but this did not stop Smithy Street keeping their cool to win 3-2 on penalties to set up a very tasty final with Virginia A.

After a short well deserved water break both teams were revitalised and ready for the final, which was another tough contest of talent and passion.  Both teams played some great football and there was nothing to separate the teams.  It was only in the last two minutes when Smithy Street managed to counter attack and get that vital goal which would see them crowned Schools Champions 2010.

Nicholas Simms, Extended Schools Coordinator at Chisenhale School said” It was an excellent tournament and the kids have really enjoyed the coaching this year. Just a shame we had to go out on sudden death penalties in the semi finals!”

Abdal Ahmed, Football Development Manager at Osmani Trust was very pleased with this year’s school based coaching programme and said “the FITC project aims to work with schools and provide a complementary service that gives young people the opportunity to access good structured football coaching.  The championship is the cherry on the top for a very successful year.  I would like to thank the schools for their continued commitment over the year”

The talent of some of the players was very good and they have been invited to take part in Elite Youth FC football teams that play in the East London & Essex league.   If you would like to get involved with the school based coaching programme or the Elite Youth FC teams, please contact Abdal Ahmed on 020 7247 8080.


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