Manchester United Foundation’s U16 girls team have been crowned national champions as they beat opponents West Bromwich Albion 2-1 in the Tesco Cup at The Walker Stadium. The girls now advance to represent England in the UK Final of the Tesco Cup at the Reebok Stadium, home of Bolton Wanderers, on Sunday 24 May.
The girls mirrored the success of the Manchester United first team who were this week crowned Premier League Champions for a third year running and will represent England in the Champions League final next week. Two of the players also received special accolades with Saffron Jordan winning player of the tournament for a second time and Jodie Holmes receiving the best midfielder award.
The Foundation provides a comprehensive programme for the girls’ teams, all of which are excelling in their relevant leagues, with many of them reaching the finals of the Lancashire cup.
Foundation coach Zeki Istanbul said: “I am really proud of all of our girls this year. Once again they have been dedicated and have worked hard all season. The under-16s were awesome in the finals and they thoroughly deserve this amazing opportunity to play in a Premier League stadium and represent England. ”
Recently, top Manchester United coaches, Rene Meulensteen and ’99 Treble-winning legend Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, rewarded the good work of the Girls Football project with a special training session at Carrington. 16 girls from the under-16s and under-14s squads took part in the session led by the first team coach and the former United star and reserve team coach.
Activities on the night included skills sessions covering receiving skills, passing skills, finishing exercises and team games. Ole, said: “We wanted to do some of the things the first team and reserve team do every single day and to run through some of the important things in football.”
Rene, first team coach commented: “it’s all about making them feel special by bringing them to Carrington and letting them play on the first team pitch”.