FOUR years after being named as a surprise addition to the super league, a team is celebrating being named as the Football Association’s club of the year.

Durham Wildcats, who are hoping this season will be the one they break through to the top flight of women’s football, were given the accolade at the recent FA women’s football awards.

The team got the season off to a good start on Sunday with a 2-1 victory over Tottenham Hotspurs at their home ground at New Ferens Park, in Belmont, Durham, where they were cheered on by hundreds of fans.

They currently play in the women’s super league two but are hoping for promotion this season.

Manager Lee Sanders said: “The aim is to get promoted this year. We finished fourth last year but we were still in there with two games to go.

“It was very tight and we were just short but we’re hoping to go one better this time.”

Created in 2013 as an amalgamation of South Durham and Cestria Girls Club and Durham University, the team now attracts crowds of more than 600 fans when it plays at home.

The squad, made up of 30 players aged between 16 and 30, trains at the university’s sports centre Maiden Castle.

Mr Sanders added: “Getting club of the year was a really good achievement.

“We may not have the glamour and glitz or budgets of some of the clubs but what we lack in terms of finance we make up for in hard work and making the experience as positive as possible for people when they come to watch.”

“I’m very, very proud. The background of the club is quite humble but people are working very hard on the pitch and behind the scenes. It was a real honour to win – it’s great for the region and for girls football.

Captain Sarah Wilson said: “In our first year we were getting just over 100 people and in the second half today we had more than 600.

“The success is really down to the hard work everyone puts in. We’re not funded by a men’s team so everything has to be done off our own back and they do a lot of work bringing in the sponsors.

“For me the award was for the people who are working hard off the pitch. Nine out of ten are volunteers to it’s nice to see them rewarded.”