The Knockout Cup by Adrian Beck and Adele K. Thomas

cover image

The Champion Charlies book 3. Penguin, 2018. ISBN 9780143791287
(Age: 7-9) Themes: Soccer. Sportsmanship. The Champion Charlies series has been developed in partnership with Football Federation Australia promoting teamwork and the enjoyment of the game. The characters are based on the Socceroos and the Matildas players.
It's time for the Jindaberg Jets to play in the Knockout Cup in Wombat Creek, a five-hour bus ride away. With eight teams playing over the three days, the Jets players are up against some familiar but tough competitors. Captain Dirty Damo from the Wombat Creek FC is out to win again, by any means necessary. Charlotte's focussed on the Perfect Prep while the rest of the team spend their training session working out where to put the trophy.
The Jets board the bus excited and ready for their three days away, camping and playing football. Their minibus is decorated in green and gold and the Dancing Dads cheer them on as they pass by Benji's dad's newsagency.
Camping in icy, muddy conditions, three course meals loaded with pumpkin and difficult football games make this an interesting competition. When Coach Highpants falls ill, mysterious bus driver and school gardener Baldock steps in to help the Jets. Pranks, tricks and Dirty Damo's targeting of Charlotte on the field make this a trying time. There's plenty of football action, fancy footwork and some goals scored.
Adrian Beck's easy-to-read style, great characters and Adele Thomas' humorous cartoons reinforce positive messages of working together and valuing each other's skills and abilities. The Knockout Cup is a fun junior novel for soccer fans.
Rhyllis Bignell