Truro School’s Head of Football, Glynn Hooper, is excitedly walking the corridors this week as he gears up to take his Cornwall Under 18s team to the final of the FA Youth County Cup at Barnet FC’s 6,400 capacity stadium this weekend.
Having not won the cup in its 73 year history, Mr Hooper’s Under 18s team has already progressed further than any previous Cornwall side, with the team having been knocked out in the semi-finals at two previous attempts.
The cup run started back in October when the Cornwall Under 18s defeated Gloucestershire 7-0. Further victories against Lancashire and Sussex saw the side play Durham in the semi-final where they edged their way through to reach the final against Middlesex.
Mr Hooper said:
“Truro School has supported the Cornwall Under 18s through its facilities, with boys travelling from all over the county to train here. For me, it’s been a tremendous term, with the county Under 18s still unbeaten this year and Truro School Under 18s also still unbeaten this year. It’s a really positive time, not only around results, but around how the boys try to play the game; another key part of what we are trying to educate.”
This is now Mr Hooper’s eleventh year at the school having started in 2006. During his football career, Mr Hooper found himself on the books of Ipswich Town for 5 years and was also Assistant Manager/Player of Truro City Football Club in 2007 when they won the FA Vase, which was another first for a Cornwall.
“The philosophy and ethos that I try to incorporate into my everyday roll at Truro School has hopefully put me in a nice position to be able to translate that to boys throughout the county,” he said.
During the Easter break Mr Hooper will also have his ear to the ground for news from the MeCup, a youth development tournament in Menorca where a number of Truro School students have been selected to represent the South West Independent Schools’ Representative team. The students will get to play against the likes of Manchester City, Barcelona and Real Madrid youth development sides with Mr Hooper describing the competition as a “wonderful opportunity”.
Mr Hooper finished by saying:
“Here at Truro School we are not looking for pupils to play football just to become professionals, we really want children to play football first and foremost for fun, through participation. However, what we can do is identify talented players at an early age, the main development is then done through the professional clubs. Competitions like the MeCup give students exposure to high level football and opportunities to be scouted. Being in a position of watching young players from the ages of 11 to 18, I feel that it is important to deliver a rounded approach to the reality of having aspirations of becoming a professional footballer, and advice can certainly be given alongside students’ academic studies at Truro School.”