Two schools from our local community, Woodcote Primary School and Coloma Convent Girls' School, represented Crystal Palace Football Club with pride at last week's Premier League Schools Tournament at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester.
Woodcote Primary School put in a tremendous showing to make it all the way to the final, where they were beaten by Plantation Primary School, of Liverpool.
Woodcote were one of 19 schools that took part so to finish runner-up in the under-11 mixed tournament was a fantastic achievement, while Coloma Convent Girls' School went out in the group stages to a very strong Arsenal side in the under-13 girls category.
To compete in Manchester, both schools had to first contest the local tournament against other Croydon, Sutton and Bromley schools in their age category. Coloma were successful in seven games without conceding a goal, while Woodcote also won their regional tournament, conceding just one goal in the process.
Now in its ninth year, the Premier League Schools Tournament is all about increasing football participation for boys and girls, offering schools nationwide the chance to team up with their local Premier League club.
Each of the 20 Premier League clubs staged their own regional competition to select two schools to represent them in the finals.
More than 10,000 young footballers from more than 1,300 schools took part nationwide with the teams aiming to reach the Etihad. Spectators were invited to watch the Premier League Schools Tournament champions crowned and presented with a replica Premier League trophy.
All of the young pupils participating on the day received an authentic Premier League experience - wearing their Premier League club kit, using the Manchester City dressing rooms, walking out of the tunnel to the Premier League anthem and having their matches refereed by Premier League match officials.