Bolton Wanderers' season may be over, but Bolton School Junior Boys' division will be proudly wearing the white shirt as they represent the Wanderers at Wembley having won their local and then regional finals.
Their route to Wembley started in late January when the Chorley New Road based school participated in Bolton's Primary School Football Tournament competing against 40 different primary schools from the borough of Bolton.
The boys then found themselves in the semi-final and came up against Blackrod Church Primary School in which they won convincingly, 5-1. They then came up against a strong Egerton side although they overcame them winning 5-1, becoming local champions in the meantime.
The pupils then got the chance to represent the Wanderers at the club's academy training ground, the Eddie Davies Academy in early March.
The competition was made up of winning primary school teams from across the northern half of the country who then represented the Football League Championship teams with pride. The boys from Park Road were then drawn in a group playing against primary schools representing Burnley, Wigan Athletic and Huddersfield Town.
Despite drawing with Huddersfield Town 1-1 and losing to Wigan 2-1, the boys progressed from their group in second place after beating Burnley 1-0. In the quarter-final they met their Yorkshire counterparts playing a junior school who were representing Sheffield Wednesday. Not for the first time this season against Wednesday, the Wanderers were convincing winners winning 5-1.
This saw the boys from Park Road come up against recently relegated Doncaster Rovers in the semi-finals of the North's Football League Trust Kids' Cup. After a strong performance the boys booked their place in the final against local-rivals Burnley. After having already previously beaten them confidence was high and this was evident as they ran out 2.0 winners, thus making them northen winners.
After their recent success the boys were guaranteed a trip down to play on Wembley's hallowed turf before the play-off final between Derby and QPR tomorrow. They will come up against St James' primary school who will be representing AFC Bournemouth tomorrow, after they won the corresponding southern competition at the Madejski Stadium. After overcoming schools representing Watford, Leicester, Millwall and Brighton they went on to play the hosts Reading in the final. After being level after normal time they had to rely on penalties, and with the help of former Cherries keeper Vince Bartram's son, overcame Reading winning 2-0 on penalties.
The school team has received attention from Sky Sports show Soccer AM, with presenter Adam Smith visiting the school and witnessing former Cherries striker Steve Fletcher deliver a striking masterclass. The pupils from St James' school will also feature again on the show before the game tomorrow, joining the likes of Helen Chamberlain and Max Rushden on the sofa.
This is the first time that a team has been to Wembley representing Bolton Wanderers since that infamous day 3 years ago, so we wish everybody associated the best of luck!