FIVE-a-side soccer players are proving to be a football force to be reckoned with as they power their way through sporting tournaments.

Year 7 girls from Carmel College, in Darlington, have racked up a string of victories as their passion for the game grows as quickly as their skills.

They recently won a county tournament and were joint winners of the English Schools regional finals, played at the Powerleague Soccerdome in North Shields.

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Coach Ruth McShane, who once played football in America, said: “They train really hard, but their true strength is how well they play together as a team – and the 11-strong squad only started training in September.”

Captain Matilda Weir, 11, who also plays for Spraire Lasses, said: “I have always enjoyed football and would love one day to play for Arsenal ladies.

“I think we pass really well and are strong tacklers – and we never give up.”