PL Kicks Cup

ALBION took on the Premier League Kicks Cup in a bid to gain national bragging rights in Manchester.

69 professional football clubs threw their hat into the ring to be crowned champions, with The Albion Foundation entering teams in both the under-16 girls and under-16 mixed competitions.

Having engaged more than 200,000 young people since its formation in 2006, Kicks is one of the Premier League's flagship community programmes.

The initiative has a long history of using the power of football and the value of sports participation to help hard-to-reach youngsters in some of the most high-need areas.

"This is a great experience - they probably haven't experienced something like this before," said Paul Blagrove, The Albion Foundation Kicks Coordinator.

"Kicks showcases the power of football, it's a universal language that everybody knows."

44,000 females have been involved in the project during the 12 years.

 "Kicks is all about providing opportunities for girls within Sandwell and Dudley," said Lauren Affron, The Albion Foundation Mini Kicks Coordinator.

"The girls wouldn't normally get this chance, so it's a great opportunity to play against new teams, different environments as well."

It was a day of mixed results for the two sides, with the girls unfortunate to not qualify out of their group and the boys tasting semi-final heartbreak in a penalty shootout against Chelsea.

Despite failing to lift the cup, the impact that Kicks has on the participants' lives is clear to see.

"Kicks means a lot, 'cause if it wasn't for Kicks today I wouldn't be here," said one participant.

"Football, I don't know, I can't describe it in words.

"Football is life."

Watch the above video to find out more about the day's events.

For more information about Kicks, please email

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