Pitchero ACES week two round up

The second weekend of the Pitchero ACES Nationals was all about the girls and they definitely didn’t disappoint. On a week where the nation celebrated Women’s Sport, they proved how great girls football can be and put on another great show at Nottingham University’s Riverside Sports Complex.

Once again the opening ceremony proved to be a great success.

Week two welcomed the best girls teams from U13’s to U17’s categories as they all descended on Nottingham in a bid to become the Pitchero ACES National champions.

Massive respect to our week two referees who were excellent all weekend, well done guys!

A huge thank you to all the parents who came to support their girls too, you were all brilliant.

Big thanks to our official partners Pitchero who again captured plenty of the action at the girls weekend, if you head to @ACESfootballuk on Twitter or search ‘ACES National Football Tournament’ on Facebook you will be able to see the videos, pictures and interviews they recorded over the weekend. Pitchero will of course be there for the last weekend cheering the teams on and capturing more amazing tournament content. 

Every team who attended should be very proud of what they achieved throughout the two days but after battling the troublesome weather, some fiercely contested games, valiant victories and devastating defeats, the finalists from each age group were decided.

U13

The youngest age group of the weekend were the U13’s and it was great to see such enthusiasm and quality from these girls.

The final was contested by Preston, who edged past Coventry in the semi-finals after a tense penalty shootout win and Glamorgan, who managed to beat a very good Reading side 2-0.

An action shot of the penalty shootout between Preston (taker) and Coventry (goalkeeper).

Both Preston and Glamorgan played some outstanding football in the final, but it was Preston who took the title after a 3-1 win, with their captain scoring the pick of the goals with a phenomenal effort in the first half.

The Welsh side were gracious in defeat, there is certainly no shame being Pitchero ACES Nationals runners-up.

Pitchero caught up with Preston’s managers after their trophy presentation to get their thoughts on a fantastic day for the club.

U14

The two sides who battled it out in the U14’s final were three-time tournament winners Washington and North London, both winning 2-0 in their semi-finals against two brilliant sides in Liverpool and Leicester.

Both teams were magnificent and neither could find a way to break down either teams defence, so the game went all the way to penalties.

In the end, North London prevailed with a 5-4 victory. A blow for Washington but they would be back in the U15’s on the Sunday with a chance to go for the winner’s title.

The girls from London celebrate on stage, a great achievement and just look what it means to them.

U15

As we’ve mentioned, Washington were back in action on Sunday with over half their team playing in the age category above.

Amazingly, they made it to yet another final just 24 hours after their defeat in the U14 final after they surpassed a Leicester side who played most of the tournament with eight girls.

Joining them in the final was Cheshire, who beat Doncaster 2-1 in a thrilling contest.

The final was a very close encounter with both teams looking excellent. However, Washington’s first half goal was enough to see them crowned champions as the final whistle blew.

The Washington girls equalled a tournament record of four titles, can they make it five next year?

Here’s what their delighted manager had to say after their incredible achievement.

U16

Making it all the way to Saturday’s final were two brilliant outfits in Leicester and Norfolk.

Leicester narrowly beat reigning champions Preston in the semi-finals 1-0, whilst Norfolk confidently won 4-1 against a strong Coventry team.

Unfortunately for Leicester, Norfolk proved to be too strong as they ran out 4-0 winners. No shame for the Leicester side though, joining as a late entry and having their keeper injured in the first game made their journey to the final even more impressive.

The Norfolk players jump for joy as they’re crowned Pitchero ACES National champions, congratulations girls.

U17

The eldest girls to contest against each other were the U17 girls and the quality throughout their games was tremendous.

The four teams to make it furthest were Wimbledon, Coventry, Norwich and Dunstable who all put up a fantastic fight in the semi-finals, with Wimbledon and Norwich grabbing spots in the final with 3-0 and 1-0 wins against Coventry and Dunstable.

The final shaped up to be a cracker and it turned out to be exactly that with Norwich managing to grab the opening goal in the first half, Pitchero caught the action as they kicked off for the second half.

In very tightly contested affair where both teams looked like they could score, Norwich took their chance to make it 2-0, securing them the ACES title. Heartbreak for Wimbledon who should be immensely proud despite falling at the final hurdle.

A touch of class from the Wimbledon girls who create a guard of honour for Norwich as they go and collect their winner’s medals.

Listen to what the Norwich managers had to say after their side were crowned Pitchero ACES National Champions.

Winners are grinners. Norwich are your U17 national winners.

Yet another weekend that proved how much junior talent we have across England and Wales and another reminder of how great girls football can be.

We hope all the teams who attended enjoyed themselves, you were all magnificent and we hope to see many of you again next year.

For the final week, we turn our attention to the U15 and U16 boys as we prepare for yet another weekend of high-quality football.