Fara Williams and Glenn Murray help EFL and Utilita launch Kids and Girls Cup

Glenn Murray and Fara Williams MBE joined over 100 young aspiring footballers at Milton Keynes Dons yesterday to officially kick-off the 2022/23 season of the Utilita Kids and Girls Cup, two of the country’s biggest national football tournaments for junior schoolchildren. The finals of each competition take place at Wembley Stadium, giving players a once in a lifetime opportunity of playing on the hallowed turf.

The annual football tournament sees around 20,000 boys and girls take to the pitch to represent the 72 EFL Clubs across England and Wales, bolstering the existing ties between Clubs and their local communities.

Inspiring children to be active, healthy and develop a strong sense of teamwork, the Utilita Kids Cup and Girls Cups are six-a-side competitions offering schools the chance to earn the right to represent their local EFL Club on a regional basis, before culminating in four national finals which will take place prior to the Papa Johns Trophy, Championship, League One and League Two Play-Off Finals at the national stadium, Wembley.

The Kids and Girls Cup has engaged over 250,000 children since its inception in 2007 and has proven to be a platform for the stars of the future, with Manchester United and Scotland international midfielder Scott McTominay and Crystal Palace midfielder Will Hughes previously taking part in the competition.

Chief Executive, Trevor Birch said: “Over 250,000 children have taken part in the Utilita Kids and Girls Cup in the past 15 years, demonstrating the positive impact and reach it has in communities. With all 72 EFL Clubs set to run the competition this season, thousands more boys and girls will have the opportunity to enjoy playing football, make new friends and be active while engaging with their local EFL Club. We’re very proud to be able to offer the finalists of the Utilita Kids and Girls Cup the unforgettable opportunity to play at Wembley Stadium ahead of the Papa Johns Trophy and Play-Off Finals and we look forward to this season’s competition getting underway.”

CEO and co-founder of Utilita, Bill Bullen, said: “We are now well into the new season, meaning the exciting Kids and Girls Cup competitions are upon us – and it’s an honour to be involved.
“I’m delighted that Utilita’s support will enhance the opportunities available for thousands of schoolchildren in England and Wales.

“I can assure that you are in good hands with Glenn Murray, who was a sensational help at last year’s competition, and Fara Williams – a top player who no doubt inspired many youngsters throughout her playing career.”

The 2022/23 competition was launched with former professional footballers Glenn Murray and Fara Williams at Fairfield Sports Hub, a new sports facility in Milton Keynes operated by MK Dons Sport and Education Trust.

Glenn Murray commented: “We had a great day being part of the launch of the Utilita Kids and Girls Cup. It’s brilliant to see so many children get the opportunity to play football and the chance to play at Wembley in the final will no doubt inspire them. It’s also a fantastic way for the 72 EFL Clubs to forge even stronger links with their local communities.”

Fara Williams added: “It was brilliant to see the incredible talent on show in Milton Keynes. This project truly acts as an inspiration to the next generation of footballers. With the summer we’ve had and the year that lies ahead, the one thing girls need is opportunity, and this competition is exactly that. We may well be looking at future Lionesses!”

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