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Utilita Kids & Girls Cup

Williams: Utilita Kids Cup is a fantastic opportunity

11 March 2022

Ashley Williams was in attendance to watch a range of talented young footballers in action during the Utilita Kids Cup Regional Finals.

The former Swansea City defender, who won the Championship Play-Offs and the League Cup during his time with the Welsh Club, watched on at Reading's Select Car Leasing Stadium as the talented schoolchildren competed for a chance to play at Wembley Stadium.

The 37-year-old presented medals and handed the winning trophy to Luton Town, represented by Sacred Heart Primary School, who booked their place at the National Stadium by remaining unbeaten in the group of Swansea, West Brom, Bournemouth and Reading and then beating Derby County in the Semi-Final, before overcoming Millwall in the Final.

"The Utilita Kids Cup is a fantastic opportunity for thousands of kids up and down the country," said the former Wales Captain. "They’re playing lots of games of football on a good surface and they’ve all got their Club’s kits on, so it’s a great day. If I was their age, I would’ve loved it.

"I think that the standard of all the games I’ve seen and all the teams involved has been really good. It’s nice to see that we’re producing good kids in this country, and these are school kids as well – it’s not Academy football.

"I remember playing in competitions, but not one as well organised as this. I’m sure that these kids will remember this day for a long time."

Elsewhere Tranmere Rovers, represented by St George's Primary School, will also experience Wembley in the League Two Grand Final after they triumphed at the Northern event at Salford University.

The Merseyside youngsters saw off Harrogate Town to progress to the Regional Final and defeated Carlisle United 6-5 on penalties to earn the chance to play at Wembley, which will take place during half-time of the Sky Bet League Two Play-Off Final on Sunday 29 May.

Williams – a member of the EFL Team of the Decade in 2015 – added: "For everyone around the world, Wembley is such an iconic stadium. You’re so lucky if you get a chance to play there and for kids who are 10 or 11-years-old, to get the chance to play there when there’s fans there as well is an amazing opportunity for them."

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