In our new weekly feature celebrating grassroots sports teams, we profile Darlington Spraire Lads Under 7s.

Team name: Darlington Spraire Lads U7

Location: Hummersknott Academy, Darlington

League/competition: Teesside Junior Football Alliance (TJFA) U7 Purple division

Manager/coach’s name: Mark Jackson, Ewan Mitchell

Members: Athina Vasillounis (GK), Jaiden Fillbrook, Stephen Fenby, Harry Burton, Dillon Andrews, Pennie Maddison, Harry Peverley, Mason Bales, Billy Stubbs

Team motto: Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard; therefore if you try your best, you’re already winners.

The best thing about our team is: The team spirit. Win, lose or draw the team always fights until the end and leaves the field with a smile on their faces knowing that they’ve had fun, which is the most important thing.

What inspires you: The love of the game. I don’t have a child in the team and I travel from Stockton three times a week to be this team’s manager/coach. You bond with the kids like their one of your own so you really want to see them be the best they can be.

I’m just a tiny part that gets to help them along that path.

Most memorable recent moment: Seeing the team get the first ever win. I know at this age scores and results don’t matter but the children know themselves if they have won or not. The hard work and improvement that could be seen from day one to their first win was magical.

Even though it was their first win, the players were very gracious and considerate to the opposition and even offered to mix the teams up for the development game.

That shows what kind of character and team spirit my team has and I look forward to many more years with them.