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Carlyle: Hopefully we can inspire the next generation

ON Friday 26th November 2021, twelve teams from Hammersmith & Fulham competed in the Year 6 Football Tournament. The tournament was hosted by QPR in the Community Trust as qualifiers for their Utilita Kids Cup tournament in January 2022.

Sponsored by Hyperoptic, the intense and tightly-contested group stages saw the top two teams and two best-performing third-place teams go through to the knockout stages.

The knockout stages also didn't disappoint, with spectators seeing some action-packed games and a few nail-biting penalty shootouts. The spectators included QPR's very own Charlie Owens, Charlie Kelman, Nathan Carlyle and Alex Aoraha, who were impressed with the quality and intensity of the games.

The resulting final was contested by Holy Cross and West London Free School, where West London Free School were crowned winners of the Hammersmith & Fulham Year 6 Football Tournament. The children were presented with their awards by the QPR players, with Lachlan McGriskin of West London Free School receiving 'Player of the Tournament' from Charlie Kelman.

West London Free School, Holy Cross and Ark Priory (third place play-off winners) have now all advanced to our Utilita Kids Cup tournament in January 2022.

Speaking about the event, defender Carlyle told www.qpr.co.uk: “It’s a great experience to come down and be part of this local schools tournament.

“The stadium is only across the road, so coming here can hopefully inspire the next generation of footballers and hopefully one day one of them will pull on a QPR shirt.”

He added: “It’s always great to come down to these events, something which I have done for a few years now and it’s a nice feeling.

“As a youngster these sorts of events used to inspire me, so I am sure some of the children look up to us. Working with the local community is so important.”

Utilita Kids Cup

Each season, the EFL organises two cup competitions for junior footballers from schools across the country, with the finals being played in the build-up to some of the biggest matches of the domestic season.

The Utilita Kids Cup is one of those competitions with the winners of the club competition representing the club in the Championship Southern Regional Finals. The winners of the regional finals will go through to the Grand Final at Wembley. A school representing QPR won in 2018.

The Championship Southern Regional Finals are organised by the EFL and will be hosted in Bristol, with the date confirmed for March 2022.

It’s always great to come down to these events, it’s a nice feeling.

Nathan Carlyle