Shenfield High School

More than 700 schools will soon be whittled down to four as the quarter-finals of the Premier League Under-16 Schools Cup start this week.

Premier League U16 Schools Cup winners to get new trophy..

The competition has been running for 40 years and is organised by the English Schools FA, which has had the support of the Premier League for more than two decades. An extra incentive for the winners this season is a new trophy to display, one commissioned by the Premier League to mark its patronage of the Under-16 competition.

"The Premier League is proud of our continuing partnership with the ESFA," Nic Coward, the Premier League's general secretary, said. "The fact that more than 700 schools entered the Premier League Under-16s Schools Cup shows why we see working with schools and the English Schools FA as so important.

"Schools are the sporting hubs of many communities, as are each of the 20 Premier League Clubs, and bringing the two together is what the partnership is all about."

The chances of a school winning the competition for the first time are high with Shenfield High School, of Chelmsford, Essex, the only previous winner, 10 years ago, remaining in the cup.