Students at a Cedar Mount Academy received a special visit from two of Man City’s stars as they hosted the fourth round draw of the SSE Women’s FA Cup
Cedar Mount Academy, in aptly-named Wembley Road, was the venue for the draw with City forwards Georgia Stanway and Keira Walsh on hand to assist proceedings.
Walsh and Stanway also answered questions from pupils and joined in a training session with some of the school’s talented young female footballers.
With students enthusiastically cheering on their favourite teams as they were announced – Manchester City getting the loudest roar – Stanway praised the encompassing nature of the SSE Women’s FA Cup and the impact it was now having in schools and the wider public consciousness.
“It’s exciting to be in a school with such enthusiastic kids – it’s been a good day,” said the 19-year-old.
“It’s very important to bring football out to schools, especially with the next generation coming through, in order to get them excited about the women’s game.
“It’s terrific to see them cheering, especially when the majority are City fans, there was one Arsenal fan in the corner but we ignored him!”
Walsh, who won player of the match in the 4-1 victory over Birmingham in the 2017 final at Wembley, also hailed the vociferous reaction the draw had and hoped the visit would inspire young footballers to tread the same path as her and her fellow professionals.
“A few years back the kids probably wouldn’t have known too much about a senior girls’ football team,” said Walsh.
“If we can do anything to help inspire them to go further in their journeys then I hope we can do so.”
Drawing the balls from the iconic red velvet bag were Year 9 students Jainaba Adams and Blumartha Chikaonda who, despite both being Manchester United fans, were bowled over with meeting Stanway and Walsh at their school.
“It was really, really special,” said 13-year-old Blumartha, from Gorton. “From the moment our teacher told us we’d be drawing the balls out I was so excited – I’m still full of excitement now.
“I was trying to tackle Georgia at one point during the training session and thinking ‘I’m running up to an actual Manchester City player’.”
Jainaiba, from Hattersley, added: “It was such a great experience – thank you to our teachers because I didn’t think we’d ever be able to do what we did today.”
Through their partnership with charity Teach First, SSE works to bring women’s football through to schools and promote the game among the younger generation.
Michelle Bennett, assistant vice principal at Cedar Mount Academy, added: “It was just an amazing day.
“As the day unfolded, the students got really excited to be part of the draw and seeing two professional footballers in front of them really inspired them.
“The questions were really well thought out and it was lovely to see our students listening to what the players had to say – you could feel that some of them wanted to follow in their footsteps.
“PE is at the heart of Cedar Mount Academy. We’ve really driven sport forward in the last two years. It’s shown in our performances on and off the pitch.”
Tickets are now on sale for the SSE Women’s FA Cup Final on Saturday 5th May at Wembley Stadium connected by EE. For more information about tickets and what SSE do for women’s football, visit www.sponsorship.sse.com.