TWINS and their family have swapped sunny Sydney for a County Durham village after a Premiership football club showed an interest in both boys.

Dean Gardikiotis has been signed to Middlesbrough FC, while his brother, Alexander, is on a six-week trial.

The boys, aged 14, have moved with their family from Australia to Hurworth, to enable them to progress in their sporting careers.

The pair, who are attending Hurworth School Maths and Computing College, have been playing football since they were nine. Their father is a football coach.

Dean, who plays as a goalkeeper, said: “It is something I have always wanted to do since I started playing.”

He added that he was enjoying his life in a new country.

“It is a bit different from Sydney, a bit more quiet. It is nice.”

Midfielder Alexander is training with the club three times a week as part of his trial.

He said: “It is a good club and it has good facilities.

They are great people.”