Thorpe St Andrew's Wembley adventure | Norwich City Community Sports Foundation

Story added: 8th April 2024

Thorpe St Andrew's Wembley adventure

Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th of April saw local Norfolk school Thorpe St Andrew embark on a two-day trip to the home of English football to face a representative side of Tranmere Rovers in the EFL U13 Girls Cup Final.

The side’s journey to Wembley was not short, nor an easy one. They first had to emerge victorious in our local competition at The Nest before going on to conquer two further rounds of regionals (hosted by MK Dons SET) against the best sides in East Anglia and the south of England.

After a long wait for the big day, which included a Sunday visit to Carrow Road to watch Norwich City Women face QPR, the big weekend was upon us.

Saturday saw departure on the long journey to London, made significantly shorter by the buzz of the occasion and what awaited.

Day 1

Day one of the expedition was the all-important sight-seeing and settling. A few photos under the iconic arch and some browsing and window shopping around the gentrified high-rise shopping centre embedded into new Wembley – and of course a spectacular shot of an illuminated Wembley stadium.

Day 2

After a good night’s rest and some dreams of what awaited the following day, the big moment was finally here. Kitted head-to-toe in their newly branded school tracksuit, that now proudly boasted the Wembley graphic across the back, it was time to make the walk down the famous Wembley Way.

The girls were then greeted by an English great in the form of the iconic Sir Bobby Moore statue that proudly stands outside the entrance named after the legend of the game. Inside the stadium there was time for a quick stop to soak up the English fandom with some funky displays of red and white!

Then… it was game time. Like true professionals, it was time to make the composed walk through the press area and towards the dressing rooms to get match-ready. What followed was the magical moment that almost every football fan dreams of – emerging from the Wembley Stadium tunnel.

A surprise gift from Puma had the girls kitted out in the latest footwear, and it was then time for some media and meet-and-greets from some big names in the form of former Arsenal and England goalkeeper David Seaman and powerhouse striker Adebayo Akinfenwa.

Finally the big game was upon us and in typical cup final fashion, the sides were inseparable at the full-time whistle, meaning a penalty shoot-out beckoned. 12 penalties taken and 12 converted, it would take a super stop from the Tranmere number one to separate the sides on the day and draw conclusion to the contest.

Tears of pride and tears of disappointment were abruptly wiped to smiles as the celebratory occasion prevailed, as the girls went on to view the Bristol Street Motors Trophy between Peterborough United and Wycombe Wanderers. Seated in some of Wembley’s finest seats, the group were able to enjoy some close interactions with the players themselves as they climbed the stands to collect the silverware.

A moment to treasure

Though the result was not the desired outcome for the girls, the group should take great pride in how they represented Norwich City, progressing further than any other Canaries side in the competition’s history.

Across the two days there were several moments to treasure and memories captured that will last a lifetime. Everybody at the Community Sports Foundation is immensely proud of Thorpe St Andrews School, the group of players, the accommodating teachers and our own Schools Team for rallying behind at every moment along the way.

"The whole weekend was such a great experience for the girls and everybody involved. We're so proud of how far we progressed in this tournament - the group did their school proud."

Ollie Kerrison

Schools Engagements Officer

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