MORE than 280 children took part in a football tournament looking to book their place in prestigious regional finals.

The National League Trust Under 11s Cup 2020 saw Spennymoor Town Youth FC host 20 schools on its new pitch at The Brewery Field stadium, home of Spennymoor Town FC, in conjunction with the National League Trust.

The tournament was held as part of the club’s strategy to increase engagement with schools in the area.

The competition was split into a girls’ and a boys’ six-a-side tournament, the winners of which will go on to represent Spennymoor Town at the regional finals in March 2020. The winners of those regional finals earn the tantalising chance to play at Wembley Stadium in a national final.

Ox Close Primary School, Spennymoor, won the boys' contest and the girls’ winners were Toft Hill Primary School.

Andy Lowe, head of academy at Spennymoor Town Youth FC, said: “It was truly humbling to see more than 280 children from the area playing at our state-of-the-art new facility.

“The day was about much more than football. It was about community and opportunity, providing every child with a chance to take part and, most importantly, enjoy themselves.

“We operate a football-for-all approach at Spennymoor Town and we want to offer young people in the area a variety of ways to engage with the sport and the club. Today was one of those days the children will remember for years to come.

“Every child played with a smile on their face and socialised with kids from other schools as well. They were all very well behaved throughout.

“The children, the parents and the schools should all be proud of themselves. We’ve been overwhelmed by the response and positive feedback. There have been schools already asking when they can come back. I’d like to thank ASDA for providing some refreshments for the day and NERAMs for providing event first aid and safety measures. Together with some young leaders from Durham Sixth Form and some of our coaches from the academy itself, everyone came together to deliver a superb event.”

Every child who took part in the day received a commemorative medal and certificate and have been invited back to The Brewery Field to sample a matchday in the National League North.