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Newmarket Academy one game away from the ESFA Under-16 Small Schools Cup final

They have already made school history, and now Newmarket Academy’s Year 11 Boys are just 90 minutes away from reaching the final of a national competition.

No team from the Exning Road school has ever reached the last four of such a tournament, let alone battled it out for a trophy.

However, a win over Bournemouth-based LeAF Studio at Newmarket Town’s Tristel Stadium on Tuesday (2.30pm) would see the youngsters advance through to a showpiece ESFA Under-16 Small Schools Cup contest on a yet to be determined date.

Newmarket Academy Year 11 (31253150)
Newmarket Academy Year 11 (31253150)

The Academy know nothing about their opposition, but manager and head of PE Lee Crick is confident that it will work in his team’s favour.

“It is uncharted territory. We do not know what to expect from them and have no idea of their strengths and weaknesses,” he said. “That is something we will have to solve early on, but it means we can focus on ourselves and what we do well.

“Playing on that surface at the Town Ground will benefit us. We like to play football and that can be tough on pitches when the grass is uneven or long, but thankfully we do not have that worry.

“We are not talking about the final – we do not talk about the next round until we are in it.

“But the lads have been brilliant. They have come through a lot and no matter the result, it has been good character building.”

Crick is also hopeful that plenty of fans will go along to cheer the team on.

“It might be a bit quiet at the start, but I know a lot of people are trying to rearrange things so they can come along at some point. It will be a welcome boost for the lads,” he added.