Wembley here we come

WEMBLEY fever is sweeping Sandon Primary School as their preparations for their National ESFA Small Schools Cup final get underway. In just over a fortnight, the talented under-11 football team from The Comet s School of the Year will take to the hallowe

WEMBLEY fever is sweeping Sandon Primary School as their preparations for their National ESFA Small Schools' Cup final get underway.

In just over a fortnight, the talented under-11 football team from The Comet's School of the Year will take to the hallowed turf of Wembley Stadium on Saturday, April 26, after they were crowned South East England Small Schools' Champions in February.

And on Tuesday, Sandon welcomed top Premiership dietician Nicky Gilbert and Patrick Fraser of the Eat in Colour initiative to help their budding young footballers prepare for their big game.

Nicky, who has worked with a number of leading clubs including Spurs, Aston Villa and Celtic, gave pupils a talk on nutrition and diet, while Patrick gave them copies of his Eat in Colour meal planners and an assortment of fresh fruit.

Nicky told The Comet: "It was all about making the children aware of their diet and nutrition, and the importance of healthy eating - because it will stand them in good stead.

"We also looked at how healthy eating can support their sports performance and see how those that are playing at Wembley can change their diet and give themselves an edge ahead of their big match.

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"I've given them some useful tips and they have all responded very well.

"We're trying to make healthy foods fun and it's vital that they get the right balance. And that's been the key message."

Nicky, who has worked closely with England internationals Jermaine Jenas and Michael Dawson, added: "I have been a dietician for 20 years, and worked with some of the country's top footballers.

"The game has seen a massive development in nutrition and diet in recent years, and it's important that young athletes understand the benefits of eating right from an early age.

"The pupils at Sandon understand and realise the benefits, so hopefully it will help them when they play at Wembley. I'll definitely be cheering them on!"

Eleven-year-old Matthew Tucker certainly believes Nicky's tips will help them win, and he said he was looking forward to trying out his new healthy eating menu too.

He said: "The healthy food menus are really good, and it will help us eat more healthily. I really like eating fruit so I'm looking forward to following the menus.

"Eating healthily will give us more energy and it will make us run around the pitch faster and score more goals. I think it will help us do even better when we play at Wembley!"

And just like their footballing heroes, the Sandon team have been enjoying the limelight with newspaper and radio interviews, and even an appearance on television.

PE teacher and team coach Ruth Reynolds said: "It's very hectic at the moment and there's a lot of interest - but it's all great for the school. Everyone is really excited and I don't we'll get much work done!

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