England’s failing football stars may have suffered a shock Euro exit - but a two teams from South Tyneside scored plenty of success at the sport’s national home.
Talented young players from South Tyneside College notched up an impressive eight wins and a draw - putting Roy’s boys firmly in the shade - during a keenly-contested five-a-side tournament at the Football Association’s multi-million pound training centre, St George’s Park, in Burton.
One college team took part in matches for students in mainstream education, remaining unbeaten during their series of pitched battles to earn the best results of the day, while foundation learning support players picked up a respectable trio of wins in their eight clashes.
The South Tyneside College players joined a select group of sides who were given the chance to put their best foot forward at the Team Nineteen tournament after being nominated by the Durham FA.
The college has been a consistent champion of the sports initiative, which aims to inspire 16 to 19-year-olds in further education to play soccer.
It became involved in late 2014, and within weeks had attracted 60 players, creating 10 teams.
Playing at St George’s Park had a real wow factor for the players.Rob Grainey
It now has six teams and 70 participants who play games on Monday evenings at Mortimer Community College in South Shields.
Rob Grainey, the college’s Sport Maker, said: “Playing at St George’s Park had a real wow factor for the players – it was a great experience for them.
“They were able to look around the facilities and see where the England players train.
“The Team Nineteen tournament has taken place before but this was the first year we have competed – it was great to get the invite to attend.
“Our participation was a reflection of the tremendous efforts made by South Tyneside College to establish Team Nineteen and to encourage young people to get active by playing football.