A FANTASTIC story of a team who were destined to face an early exit from the competition demonstrates how the PL Primary Stars programme has helped them to move on and achieve.

In late May, eight teams from across Plymouth and Exeter arrived at Coach Road, headquarters of the Devon FA, for a fun-filled day of football competition and an opportunity to showcase their individual and team skills. Borringdon entered the competition with the ambition to succeed and be crowned the champions of the South West.

The team itself have been working closely with lead PL Primary Stars deliverer Stewart Walbridge with a specific focus around being connected and how that can lead to success. One common theme amongst the group is their love of football with many involved in the PAFC Academy pathway; one player in particular was playing his first game for the school two years above his current age bracket.

The tournament started with a number of setbacks, drawing their opening two games 0-0 after creating a flurry of chances, which were stopped by some outstanding goalkeeping and resilient defending.

As Borringdon entered the game against their local rivals Woodford, they had hoped for a better result but a 2-0 defeat left the squad wondering if they would make it into the top four spots and the semi finals. One Borringdon player stated in a post match interview: “we keep having lots of chances but we cannot score and it’s tough because we deserve to win the games.”

It all came down to the last game, Borringdon needed to win to stand a chance of moving into the semi finals and hope that the team from Exeter lost. Suddenly, momentum changed and the goals came in quick succession. It  demonstrated the ambition and ethos within the squad, as what could have been a big setback was used as a platform to succeed.

As the semi-finals were announced, Borringdon had some good fortune on their side. The difference in the team from the first game to the last was significant, there was a new element of togetherness and ambition that they could achieve success.

Speaking to the Borringdon goalkeeper ahead of the semi final, he emphasised the teamwork shown in the group: “we wanted to win as we knew that we could still go through. I didn’t think we would be in the semi-final, so I’m really happy that we are playing in it together.”

Their opponents were the unbeaten team from the group stages, top of the league and giving the team from Plympton a real test of team strength and mental toughness. To say a fairytale was at work would be an understatement as Borringdon ran out 2-0 winners and progressed to the final. Could this be the time in which the PL Primary Stars’ values really begin to show? YES!

Borringdon ran out 2-0 winners in the final game after previously losing to this team in the group stages 1-0. They were able to rally together, to be connected and deliver a fantastic performance to lift this year’s PL Primary Stars regional trophy.

“The boys had a tough few games early on and it didn’t look as though we would get any success as we struggled to score,” said the Borringdon coach. “They have displayed a great attitude to not give up and this is the greatest reward for that. It is what we are telling them in school every day and I’m sure they will remember this for a long time.”

The story demonstrates the journey this group has been on during the PL Primary Stars programme and how those values can really play a part in their common interest of football.

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