West Ham star Michail Antonio delights Marshalls Park pupils during visit
PUBLISHED: 18:00 25 November 2016
26-year-old made appearance at Pettits Lane as part of PlayStation Schools’ Cup tie of the round roadshow event
West Ham United’s Michail Antonio provided pupils at Marshalls Park with a treat on Wednesday after making an appearance as part of PlayStation Schools’ Cup tie of the round roadshow event.
The 26-year-old Londoner was in great form at Pettits Lane with English Schools’ FA also providing a coaching session for footballers at the Romford secondary school.
Antonio took part in a question & answer session first with 20 pupils and provided an insight into his journey to the top, including a period when he was a lifeguard.
West Ham’s speedy winger made a point of introducing himself to all the pupils, before meeting the year eight football team.
Captain Freddie Potts, son of Hammers legend Steve, was first to speak with Antonio and had to handle some banter from the Premier League star, who joked Potts’ shirt was too baggy.
It was a humbling experience for the Marshalls pupils, however, and Bower Park Academy’s year eight football team who were introduced to West Ham’s number 30.
Connor Linsell was given the tough job of trying to save some of Antonio’s penalties during a battle with former pupil Ethan Payne, also known as YouTuber ‘Behzinga’.
Marshalls Park PE teacher Paul Aylett expressed his gratitude for having the West Ham star present along with PlayStation and the English Schools FA.
He said: “It’s been an absolutely fantastic day for the kids to learn a bit more about the coaching side of things.
“The gaming part is fun and it is brilliant for Antonio and ‘Behzinga’ to join us and do some filming. I’m really pleased. Antonio was good in the Q & A session and quite honest. Some people don’t see that in footballers.
“He was really nice to the kids and the pupils involved in the Sky Sports Game Changers filming. There is a real buzz at the school and we tried to do it so not just the football team got time with Antonio, but everyone else did.
“We wanted other students who aren’t that sporty to meet him to try and engage them more in sport and hopefully we can get them in a team now. If we can do that we can enter more squads into the PlayStation Schools’ Cup and have success like we have had in the past.”
Having spent time outside with the Marshalls pupils, Antonio took part in a gaming session in the sports hall.
PlayStation provided the school with various different games to play throughout the day, before Potts went head-to-head with the West Ham ace in a FIFA 17 Player Challenge.
Frankie Mowle was crowned winner of the PlayStation Schools’ Cup FIFA 17 tournament having scored earlier in the day for the year eight team during a 3-2 friendly success over Bower Park Academy.
A brace from Potts helped Marshalls beat their local rivals depite Daniel Armitage and Tyler Sibbons netting for the visitors.
Overall it was a wonderful day and event for the Pettits Lane school and all down to PlayStation Schools Cup and English Schools’ FA. Marshalls staff and pupils played their part too, and it ensured it was a memorable occasion for all involved.