The Utilita Girls Cup is a six-a-side football competition for Under 13’s run by the EFL Trust. Each club invites local teams to a tournament where the winners proceed on to the regional finals representing the club. The competition concludes at Wembley Stadium where the final 2 teams go head to head to win the cup!

Back in November we invited local schools to the first round here at The Forest Sports Zone. There was some strong competition but in the end it was the girls from Toot Hill School in Bingham who took the win and moved on to the next round held in Doncaster.

The team was made up of ten girls, four of which are players from our Regional Talent Club. Our RTC is designed for female players identified as having elite potential the opportunity to access appropriate levels of coaching and support, through the ‘FA Girls’ England talent pathway. Kenya, Scarlett, Poppy and Brooke from our RTC all represented Nottingham Forest in the Girls Cup.

On January 10th, the girls headed to Doncaster Rovers to compete in the area finals. Due to some fantastic teamwork and a great showcase of football it was Nottingham Forest who took the win and proceeded on to the next round! For all of their hard work the girls were rewarded with a tour around the Keepmoat Stadium, home of Doncaster Rovers.

“At the Club Doncaster Sports Village, Nottingham Forest (Tooth Hill School) picked up the winners pennants beating Hull City 4-1 in the showpiece Final. Forest were unbeaten in all six of their games throughout the day, scoring 14 goals and conceding only three in the process.” – EFL

Last Wednesday, the team headed to Preston to take part in the penultimate round of the Utilita Girls Cup. This round of the cup saw the teams playing in a different format, the competition took place in an indoor facility. After an incredible effort the girls won the first round of the day essentially being the top of the league. However, after a fateful defeat in the play-offs it was Stoke City who took the win, meaning our team unfortunately slipped out of the cup.

A huge well done to the girls from Toot Hill School who showed amazing effort, especially with their busy training schedule through also being involved in the ESFA cup. It is a fantastic achievement to make it all the way to the semi-finals out of the 6,000 pupils who take part in the competition every year.

Speaking of the experience, Keith Palmer – Football Development Manager at the Trust said “The team has shown great commitment to the competition, and the football skills they have presented have been outstanding. Although we didn’t go all the way, the girls should be proud of themselves for the massive achievement of reaching the regional finals.

Good Luck to Stoke City in the finals and a huge thank you to all of the clubs who hosted us!