Saints Girls Crowed National Champions!
The New Saints U16’s Girls recently became the National Futsal Champions.
The girls had previously won the Shropshire and West Midlands titles before proceeding to the event that was held at the Birmingham International Futsal Arena and were among one of the ten teams to make it to the finals day in the U16 girls age group. The tournament had started with over 2000 teams.
Manager Tim Turner had previously won the U14 National Futsal Cup back in 2011, along with Charlotte Turner and Ffion Davies, who were both among the 11 players in the squad for the 2013 tournament. The girls were drawn in pool B, being drawn in a tough group including Tottenham Hotspur.
The Saints got off to a flying start in the opening game against Charnwood College, who were representing the East Midlands area, but the opening goal from Jemma Smith was disallowed for a rolling ball from the corner that lead to the goal. But the despair was short lived and Jemma fired one home from range before Charlotte Turner doubled the lead. Charnwood pulled a goal back half way thought the game but goals from Michelle Pasco and Lois Jones ensured a 4-2 win.
St John Bosco from the North West region were the second test for The New Saints proving to strong for the Shropshire side, hitting three past keeper Ffion Davies before a free kick from Michelle Pasco restored some pride for the Saints. Knowing that they had to win the next two games to qualify for the Semi final Saints pulled their fortunes around beating Rainsham School for girls, from the South East, 1-0 thanks to a goal from Jemma Smith before coming up against arguably the biggest named team in the competition Tottenham Hotspur. A evenly matched game that lived up to the profile of the fixture was met by a moment of magic when a superb strike from Michelle Pasco from just inside Tottenham’s half flew into the top corner of the net. Spurs had it all to do from then on in and a double save first off the post then from point blank range by Welsh International Charlotte Edmunds ensured three points for the Saints and securing a place in the Semi Final.
After finishing second in pool B the Saints were up against finalists of 2011 South Cave Wildcats representing North and Yorkshire. A very nervy end to end game ended with a Solitary goal from Jennifer Smith saw The New Saints reach the final where they would meet Arnold Hill from the East Midlands who had beat St John Bosco 4-2 in the other Semi Final. The Saints took the lead through the leading goal scorer on the day Michelle Pasco but just minutes later Arnold Hill equalised meaning the game would go to penalties to decide the winner. Jennifer Smith, Michelle Pasco and Jemma Smith were the three elected penalty takers but it only needed two of them to secure victory with two excellent penalties, meanwhile Charlotte Edmunds watch the Arnold Hill penalty kicks fly past the post leading to jubilant scenes.
The Saints Girls were presented with the trophy by Pete Sturgess, England’s Futsal manager and Mike Brown Vice Chairman of The FA Small Sided Football Committee, and Captain Charlotte Turner lifted the trophy and were crowed the best junior girls futsal team in the country.