Royce Rangers play in tournament at Leicester City’s King Power Stadium
Royce Rangers Under 8s Rebels landed the tag of ‘giant slayers’ after an impressive performance in the Fox Soccer Academy’s ‘Pro for a Day’ tournament at Leicester City’s King Power Stadium.
True to its name, this was an opportunity for the budding youngsters to follow in their football icons’ shoes for the day at the home of the Foxes.
Not only did the event include the tournament itself on the pitch but also a stadium tour, team press conference, pitch side medal presentation and team tunnel walk out.
Guided by coach James Beanland, it was clear when the Under 8s team lists came out that the Oakham youngsters had a huge mountain to climb.
They were faced with big Leicestershire clubs like Aylestone, Hinckley and Desford as well as two academy teams.
Unfazed by the task ahead, the players were just excited to be there with the focus being on the experience and enjoyment. Each and every one of them were there for their love of football and their team-mates which was an attitude that shone through in the stands and on the pitch.
This team-work, passion and attitude saw them unbeaten in the first three matches, defeating two of the bigger Leicester teams and one of the academy sides.
In fact, on day one they lost just one match to Kidderminster Harriers Academy in a very tight game.
The squad then returned for day two knowing that avoiding defeat in the first game would see them through to the final.
While the nerves were clear, the occasion failed to get the better of them as they won a very hard-fought match to book their place in the final.
They had already far exceeded expectations on and off the pitch and were labelled ‘giant slayers’ by the organisers’ results announcers in making it all the way to the final to face the unbeaten Kidderminster Harriers again.
It was hard to split the two teams in the final but strength in depth saw Kidderminster win the trophy with Royce finishing as runners-up.
The club said: “There is no praise that can truly justify how well the team represented club and county both on and off the pitch.
“They all did the club, coaches and parents so proud and were often commented by other teams and coaches as being really friendly yet competitive opponents.
“It was a truly remarkable weekend celebrating all of what is great about the sport, teamwork and of course our club Royce Rangers.
“A special mention of thanks to James Beanland, Jay Curley and Archie Beanland who coached and took care of the players across both days as well as the incredible support in the stands from our 30-plus fans with their own Royce tops and flags.”