Danny Purves Football School secures Nottinghamshire record with Manchester Christmas Cup triumph
A Newark football school has beaten the elite in the Manchester Christmas Cup.
Coach Danny Purves, 38, of Danny Purves Football School, helped guide one of his young teams to tournament success.
The games, which were in a World Cup-styled group stage and knockout tournament, are held in high regard among the grassroots scene, and Purves’ under-nines have added a winners medal to their trophy room.
“We have been there a couple of times,” he said.
“This year, the under-11s lost in the semi-final, the under-eights didn’t get out of the group stage, but our under-nines won it.
“We are the first team from Nottinghamshire to win the tournament and that is good in itself because it means our philosophy is working.
“I am trying to bring the Manchester City philosophy into Newark, and train our kids how they would train there.”
Purves, who is also an academy coach at City, said there were many benefits to training in that similar way.
“We show the kids we believe in them,” he said.
“We give them creative tasks, show them our plans, give them an idea of what they are working on, which is something a lot of grassroots clubs don’t do.
“At the minute there’s a 12-week plan that they kids are working on, with the aim of being more creative, and letting them show us what they can do.
“I believe that is why we are playing the way we do, but the proof is in the pudding.
“The under-nines are a great side and, on Sunday, they also managed to beat one of the best Newark under-ten teams.
“That is where our level is at. We want to play the best and be the best.”
In the Manchester-based tournament, which featured elite academies, Purves said his team didn’t enjoy a strong start and showed great character to turn their form around.
“It wasn’t the best start actually,” he said.
“We lost against the team who ended up bottom of the group, but we managed to get a win in the last game to finish second in the group.
“In the quarter-final, we won on penalties after drawing 1-1, and we went up against a team called Elite Football, from Yorkshire, who we have played before in the semi-final.
“Last time they battered us and played us off the park, so everybody was expecting a tough game, but we beat them 3-0 and played them off the park this time.
“That put us into the final where we had All Star Elite, again, who have beaten us before, but we won 1-0.
“Tyler scored the best goal of the day.
“The win is all down to the kids, who are fitter, better and proving that their hard work is paying off.”
Alongside government lockdown guidelines, the football school has been forced to move some of its learning online.
The sessions, conducted over zoom, are daily and range from fitness, ball work, bingo and quizzes.