The Crystal Palace Kickz under-18 side came up just short in their bid to win a prestigious national tournament.
The youngsters were keen to emulate the Eagles’ first team success in the Championship Play-Off Final and return to SE25 with silverware, after earning their place in the UK-wide competition by beating the likes of West Ham, Chelsea and Swansea in a regional tournament at Spurs Lodge in May.
But Palace had to settle for 8th place overall at West Ham’s Upton Park stadium, in a competition that began with 46 teams from across the country.
Lead coach and manager of the under-18s squad, George Henry, said: “Obviously we are a little disappointed as we really wanted to return to Palace with another trophy on the mantelpiece but, when you take into account that we’ve finished 8th out of 46 different teams, you can’t get much better than that so because of that I am very proud of the boys.”
Captain of the Kickz under-18 side, Shaun, added: “I cannot lie – the disappointment is there because we all wanted to do this for George more than ourselves.
“But the fact that we’ve had the opportunity to play on West Ham’s pitch will be an experience I will never forget so I am very thankful to George and also the whole of the CPFC Foundation for making this all possible.”
Their success came after disappointment for the under-16 and under-14 teams, who both came 3rd in their regional tournaments and failed to reach the national finals.