CHARLIE AND HIS TEAM BOOK TRIP DOWN WEMBLEY WAY

Date: Friday 29th May 2009

A FORMER Eden man has guided a team of rugby league players to their fourth consecutive national cup final.

Charlie Woan, leader of PE at Wade Deacon High School, Widnes, will walk out at Wembley with his year 10 team in August after they made it throught to the Carnegie Champion Schools final.

Charlie, a former Penrith Queen Elizabeth Grammar School student, saw his side win the national title at their first attempt when they beat Wigan outfit Abraham Guest at Twickenham in 2006.

In the last two years they have been narrowly beaten by Castleford High School, but will be hoping it is third time lucky when they play the same opponents on Friday, 28th August.

WEMBLEY PARADE

The following day, Charlie and his team will be paraded at Wembley at half-time time in the Carnegie Challenge Cup final.

Wade Deacon, who conceded only 18 points on their five-game route to the final, have also won the Carnegie North West Cup three years running. Two of the team, Dominic Speakman and Lewis Whitty, were selected for the England under-15 rugby league squad, with the latter scoring a try in the win over Wales at Easter.

ATTRACTING INTEREST

The team contains five academy players from Widnes Vikings and St. Helens, plus winger James Caton, of the Bolton Wanderers FC Academy, who is attracting attention from Everton, Chelsea, Aston Villa and Tottenham Hotspur.

In 2004, Charlie coached another Wade Deacon team who won the Champion Schools’ Cup at Millennium Stadium, the match acting as the curtain raiser for St. Helens v. Wigan Challenge Cup final.

His team that day contained Liam Hulme, the current under-16 England captain. He made his debut for Warrington Wolves in a friendly against Wigan Warriors on Boxing Day as a 16-year-old and is tipped as one of the brightest prospects for the future. His father is Paul Hulme, who played for Widnes, Warrington and Great Britain during the 1980s-1990s.