Young footballers from a South Yorkshire dream team are celebrating after winning a national football tournament at Wembley.
Treeton Terriers under-eights were crowned champions of the Indesit Mini Soccer Cup after beating teams from across the country.
The five-a-side team, from Treeton, Rotherham, met eight other sides from across the country to play at the Powerleague complex in the shadow of Wembley Stadium, home of English football.
The youngsters, aged just seven and eight, qualified for the competition at a regional heat in Leeds before seeing off teams from Birmingham, Peterborough, London and Tyneside to get through the group stage of the Wembley tournament.
They beat Football First Academy from Loughborough in the semi-final of the cup, before facing Bolton’s Tiki Taka Catalans in the final.
And the team – captain Jacob Yearsley, Isaac Gordon, Harley Battison, Soren Milner, Harris Lih, Kieran Hawley, Robbie Lewins and goalkeeper Bradley Bellamy – triumphed by four goals to three, thanks to two goals each from Kieran and Robbie.
The Terriers were taken on a tour of the stadium before the tournament, where they followed in the footsteps of their footballing idols and were given access to the players’ changing rooms and tunnel.
They also had their photographs taken with the FA Cup at the Royal Box.
Manager Mark Hawley, who was supported by coach Jonathan Fenton on the day, said: “Every player dreams of playing at Wembley, so for the boys to get an official tour of the stadium before the tournament really inspired them.
“For the team to walk up Wembley Way to the Powerleague complex before the tournament was something we will all remember and to then play in the shadow of the stadium gave them added excitement.
“The team went through the tournament undefeated and played in the right spirit throughout although I don’t think London was prepared for the boys arriving – they sang about going to Wembley from the moment they arrived and then sang about winning at Wembley all the way back home.
“Win, lose or draw we went to Wembley to give the boys something special to remember because of their hard work on and off the pitch so far this year.
“Some of the boys have been training with me since they were just three and four, others joined the team this season, but they have gelled really well and Wembley was the icing on the cake for an already great season.
“Who knows where this will lead us, hopefully we will get invited to play some other teams across the country and give the boys even more experiences to remember.
“About 50 people travelled to London for the final, including grandparents and siblings and our coach Jonnie and his family, even though he doesn’t even have a child in the team – the support was unbelievable and I am sure it helped the players.”
Sheffield Wednesday Young Owls under-10s also made it to Wembley after winning their regional heat at Leeds, but were knocked out in the group stages of the final.
Piero Pracchi, Indesit Company marketing director, said: “The Indesit Mini Soccer Cup offered families an exciting experience to get into the spirit of the beautiful game.
“We’re delighted to not only offer kids the chance to get outside and take part in organised sport but also supply them with lasting equipment that will help keep them active in the future.”
Each player taking part was provided with a new Puma football strip, sponsored by Indesit.