On Wednesday 29th June eight participants from our PL Kicks programme were chosen to take part in the national Kicks cup where they got to represent Blackpool FC against other teams from all over the nation. Kicks runs in multiple areas of Blackpool each evening throughout the week and engages with over 1000 young people throughout the year, and these eight participants were given this opportunity due to their attitude, attendance and performance at Kicks over the last 12 months.
6:00am – Good Morning – Our Blackpool Premier League Kicks squad, which is made up of participants from our weekly PL Kicks sessions, met bright and early at Bloomfield Road. They changed into the famous tangerine kit and got onto the team bus ready to make the journey!!
9:15am – We have arrived – The Blackpool Kicks team arrives at Nottingham University for registration.
10:45am – Team Briefing – All managers attended a briefing on the tournament and were given the rules and regulations ready for the day ahead.
11:00am – Mass Warm-up – All participants take part in a group warm-up delivered from a Nike Trainer.
11:15am – Captain Photo Time – Blackpool’s team captain Nicolas Henshall-Flynn gets his photo taken along with other team’s captains, proudly representing his Kicks team.
11:30am – Let the games begin – Blackpool Kicks begin the day with a fixture against Crewe Alexandra with a comfortable 4-0 win. A hattrick from the team’s star man J’Quan, 3 points and a clean sheet, exactly the start we were looking for.
11:50am – Next Game – The following match for the Pool was a difficult encounter against Middlesbrough, where the game played out a 0-0 draw. Despite Blackpool’s constant waves of attack and dominance we was unable to take the lead.
12:10pm – A return to winning ways – Another victory for the lads with a 1-0 win over Burton Albion with a goal from Ethan, a very strong start to the day!
12:30pm – Break Time – A short break from play allowed the team a chance to have a look around the venue and they even got a chance to get a picture with the Premier League trophy.
1:00pm – Off we go again – The team has their last fixture of the morning before lunch, this ended in the second draw of the day against Newport County with a score of 1-1.
1:20pm – Lunch – A well-needed food break for the team to refuel themselves before the last two games of the day.
2:00pm – First Defeat – After a strong start of the day, the team tasted their first defeat at the hands of Nottingham Forest in a close game which resulted in a 2-1 loss. The team was impacted by the loss and was ready for their next game which if they won gave them a chance of progressing to the last 16.
2:20pm – Another Draw – The final group game of the day for the team was against the top of the group Watford. The team played their best however the game ended with a 1-1 result. The team now awaits the final standings from the Match Officials to find out if they have progressed to the quarterfinals.
4:00pm – The Final – Despite the team not qualifying into the later stages of the tournament, they remained at the grounds to watch and support the other teams. The final game was a competitive fixture played out between Manchester United and Fulham which ultimately went to penalties and led to a Manchester United victory.
5:00pm – Home Time – After saying goodbyes to the other teams the Blackpool team was led back onto the minibus for the journey home. Overall, the day was a great experience for all the participants involved. A huge thank you to the boys who represented the Club in a professional manner throughout and appreciation to the Premier League for hosting such a successful tournament.
Community Youth Sport Officer Ryan Searle, reflected on a successful day
“The Kicks Cup was a great event for our participants to be able to take part in. It was a really enjoyable day from start to finish despite the long hours all the staff and participants thoroughly enjoyed. Everything was really well organised and the lads were really competitive and well behaved throughout. On another day our dominance in a couple of games would have been turned into wins and we could have progressed to the last 16. The biggest take away from the day though is that we got to take 8 deserving lads out of Blackpool to take part in a massive tournament they would have otherwise not got the chance to. Lets hope this is a day they remember for years to come”.