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City stars visit local school to wish them luck ahead of Wembley final

Bradford City AFC stars Harry Ibbitson and Zac Hadi visited Blakehill Primary School to wish the school’s football team luck and conduct a Q&A ahead of the school’s EFL Utilita Kids Cup Grand Final at Wembley this weekend.

The team, who have represented the Bantams and donned City colours in every round of the Utilita Kids Northern Cup, defeated Grimsby in the Northern Regional Final in March to reach Wembley. 

The Grand Final, which will be against reigning champions Cooper & Jordan Primary School, representing Walsall FC, will be held on the iconic Wembley pitch ahead of the SkyBet League Two Play-Off Final on Sunday 19th May, kick-off 12pm.

Mathew Lumb, Sports and Personal Development Officer and School Team Manager, said: "I’m incredibly proud of my players, who have shown an unbelievable amount of discipline, talent and determination to reach the final. I am proud of them as footballers and as young people. The final at Wembley is a very big deal for me personally. I play at a good level of cricket, but coaching this team to Wembley trumps anything I've achieved in sport. Taking these kids to the final is a major accomplishment for them, the school, the city and myself."

Blakehill were invited as guests of the Bradford City FC Community Foundation to City’s final home game of the season against Newport County on Saturday 27th April, to celebrate their achievements in reaching the final. The players brought along their trophy and school banners for photos in the University of Bradford Stadium’s dugout, and took part in the pre-match flag procession on the famous turf prior to the game.

The Foundation, the Club and influential figures across Bradford have pledged their support for the school, and wished them luck.

City players Harry Ibbitson and Zach Hadi visited the school last week, and conducted a Q&A with the players before heading onto the school’s sports field for a kickabout. 

Zach said: “A lot of players dream of walking out at Wembley, but very few ever get the chance. These boys have already achieved something special just by getting there, and me, Harry and the whole team will be cheering them on and hoping they bring the trophy home.”

City stars have also shared personalised good luck messages for the playing squad, which will be shown to them on the evening before the final.

Oliver Read, the Foundation’s Head of Premier League and Business Development, said: “We at the Foundation are delighted to show our support to the school and mark their achievement in reaching Wembley. We work with schools across the city, and are always looking out for success stories to shout about. Blakehill have done Bradford proud, and I’m sure the whole city will be supporting them on Sunday.”

Mr Read will travel down with the Blakehill squad party, family and friends to support the team and the school over what will be a momentous weekend for them and their hometown.

The Foundation’s media team will also accompany the school over the weekend, collecting footage for a feature-length documentary which will cover Blakehill’s journey to, experience during, and journey home from the final.

The trip to London will mark the end of a busy week for the players, as the majority will be completing their SATS exams prior to travelling to the capital on Saturday.

Kiani, who plays for the team, said: "I'm very excited for Wembley. I'm most excited to have the experience to share it with my team and my school. I'm a centre-back so I hope I came do my bit to keep a clean sheet and hopefully get the win."

The Bradford City FC Community Foundation will be providing live coverage of Blakehill’s journey over the weekend of 18th-19th May across its social media channels. 



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