St Francis Xavier’s College students called up for national teams

Two Year 10 students at St Francis Xavier’s College (SFX) in Woolton, Liverpool, have been selected to represent their home countries in two major football tournaments.

Gabriano Shelton has been picked to play for South Africa in the U17 Africa Cup of Nations which begins in April. Gabriano, who lives in Norris Green, is already a promising talent in Liverpool FC’s Academy, where he plays right back and centre midfield for the U15s.

He will go on tour with Liverpool FC in Spain and then straight to the training camp in South Africa before the competition starts later this month.

Gabriano, 15, said: “I am so proud to have been picked to represent South Africa. The tournament is a huge event in the football calendar and I would like to thank God for this amazing opportunity.”

Further success includes fellow student, DJ Esdaille, from Sefton Park, who was selected for England’s U16 squad in the UEFA Development Tournament.

DJ, also 15, captains Liverpool FC’s Academy U15 team and plays alongside Gabriano. He also plays for the U16 team.

Speaking about the news, DJ said: “I didn’t expect it at all! I was watching a video of my team playing at LFC and my coach kept me behind and told me that I have been called up for England.

“My coach said it is well deserved and I am really happy! I want to make my family, friends and teachers proud.”

St Francis Xavier’s College has a rich sporting history with many of its teams and talented students achieving incredible success in sports such as athletics, tennis and boxing.

David Hayes, headteacher of SFX, said: “Alongside our historic reputation for academic success, we have an equal reputation for sporting strength. We are all very proud of Gabriano and DJ.

“We know they will live out the Xaverian standard of playing fair; and hopefully they will live out another Xaverian standard to be a winner, let’s hope they make it all the way!”

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