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Under 19s lift national trophy

26 June 2019

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The Albion Foundation's Under 19 team won the EFL Community and Education Alliance Cup with a convincing 3-0 victory over Birmingham City Community Trust Under 19s.

Two goals from winger Kaden Maye and an own goal led Albion to victory in testing conditions at Derby County Academy.

Wearing their change strip of black and blue, Albion opened the scoring early on after a flowing move from defence to attack ended in the ball being diverted into the Birmingham City net by one of its defenders.

In an even middle period of the match, Albion were thankful to their goalkeeper and captain, Lewis Handley, for a string of impressive saves.

The Baggies pressed for a second with little luck, striking the woodwork on four occasions throughout the encounter.

As the game entered its final stages, Albion doubled their lead through Maye after he slotted the ball underneath the Blues' goalkeeper to finish off a classy move.

Maye grabbed his second shortly before the final whistle with a stunning long-range effort to give the side their first-ever taste of silverware.

The players are part of the Foundation's Football and Education Coaching Programme in partnership with Sandwell College.

The course provides the players with the opportunity to play and train as a professional, as well as completing a sports qualification from Sandwell College, an experience that captain, Lewis Handley, has been extremely thankful for.

"It's the best thing I've ever done in my life. We couldn't thank the coaches enough for what they've done for us," said Lewis.

"We feel so privileged to be where we are, so to lift the trophy today means so much," beamed Lewis after the final whistle.

Head of Sport at Sandwell College, Scott Thomas, said after the game that the programme has been crucial to the players' development on and off the pitch.

"The Foundation do a fantastic job in the community but also the impact it has on our students, not only from a football point of view but the coaching aspects and everything else that they offer," Scott said.

"In terms of their study programmes and the football, the partnership has excelled over the past couple of years and we're looking forward to next season," said Scott.

Chris Foreman, The Albion Foundation's Under 19 Coach, said after the game he was proud of his players for all the hard work they've put in.

"They've been a real pleasure to coach, credit where credit is due, they're always in on time and tactically they're really interested in the game, so hopefully we can help them continue to develop," Chris said.

"It's great for them to be rewarded in terms of their hard work on and off the pitch especially with an occasion like this, so it's a great way to top the season off," said Chris.

To find out more about the Under 19 programme with Sandwell College, please email chris.foreman@albionfoundation.co.uk.


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