Malky Mackay and Development Squad visit Schools Games football tournaments.
Wigan Athletic manager Malky Mackay and four of his Development Squad players attended two Sainsbury’s School Games football finals at the Powerleague Soccerdome earlier this month, which were ran in partnership with Wigan Athletic Community Trust.
The Sainsbury’s School Games is a nation-wide project delivered in partnership with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, Sport England and the Youth Sport Trust, that encourages and inspires millions of school children to take part in 30 competitive sports each year, up to a national level.
Malky attended and watched the final of the West Wigan year 5 schoolgirls football tournament on Friday 20th March, presenting the winners from St Patrick’s Primary School with their medals and trophy.
Several of Wigan Athletic Community Trust’s coaches, who are currently studying Football Coaching at the University of South Wales, helped to organise, oversee and run the girls event as part of their course.
Malky said: “It was great for the Community Trust’s young coaches to learn about organising an event like this and they’ve come through it with flying colours.
“To organise something on this scale, with over 70 girls taking part, and to make sure that the matches were played and refereed properly is a great achievement for them.
“The girls taking part in the competition showed some brilliant enthusiasm too. The final was a really good standard and you can see that some of the girls here could really go on and make a name for themselves in women’s football.”
Four of the Latics Development Squad – Mayowa Balogun, Ryan Jennings, Connor Keane and Declan Poole - also attended the finals of the West Wigan year 5 schoolboys tournament on Friday 13th March, refereeing several games in the group stages of the competition, which was won overall by Mabs Cross Primary School.
Mayowa said: “I think it’s the first time I’ve ever refereed a game rather than played, so it was something different for me and a great experience. It was brilliant to see so many youngsters taking part here and playing good football too.”
Both of the winning teams will now represent their schools and play against the winners of the East Wigan tournament, in the Wigan finals of their competitions. The winners from those finals will then also represent Wigan in overall area finals later this year.