Hundreds of talented young footballers from across the country have descended on Molineux today to represent their top-flight club in the annual Premier League Primary Stars Football Tournament.
One of the highlights of the Premier League Communities calendar, the yearly event allows hundreds of youngsters the chance to experience the thrill of being treated like a top-flight footballer.
The 2019 event is being held at Wolves’ stadium today with 40 schools representing the 20 Premier League clubs in under-11 mixed and under-11 girls categories. Chelsea and Everton are the current title holders having won the competition last season.
All 40 teams will take part in the five-team group stages; representing Wolves at this year’s tournament is Codsall Middle (under-11 mixed) and Old Park Primary (under-11 girls) who will compete against Burnley, Everton, Fulham and Newcastle in their group.
The top team from each of the four groups will then move forward into the knockout semi-finals and from there the two finalists will be determined.
The 320 players participating today will wear their club kit, use the same Wolves dressing-rooms as the professionals use on matchday and come down the tunnel at Molineux to the Premier League anthem, while their matches will be refereed by the Premier League match officials, including Andre Mariner, Chris Kavanagh and Kevin Friend.
BBC Match of the Day Kickabout will also be at Molineux today, with a short feature on the day set to be broadcast in the future.
The 2019 PL Primary Stars Football Tournament has involved 14,500 children from more than 1,600 school teams, who have taken part in regional competitions for the right to represent their local Premier League club.
Premier League Primary Stars uses the appeal of the Premier League and professional football clubs to inspire more than 16,000 children to learn, be active and develop important life skills. Available to primary schools across England and Wales, the programme supports girls and boys aged five to 11 in the classroom, the playground and on the sports field.