SPENNYMOOR Town has been rewarded for making improvements to its home ground by being awarded an international match.

Following extensive improvements to its ground over the last 18 months, Spennymoor's Brewery Field will host a prestigious England schoolboys' Under-18s against Republic of Ireland on April 3, 2020.

The game was secured on a recent England Schools’ FA (ESFA) visit to Spennymoor, where England Under-18s boss Richie Alderson met the club’s academy staff and held training sessions with the young Spennymoor Town Youth players.

After an inspection of the ground and run-down of the future plans for Spennymoor, England’s date in Spennymoor was set.

Tony Wilson, managing director of Spennymoor, said: “There has been a monumental amount of work gone in from our team off the pitch over the last year to improve our infrastructure, facilities and matchday offering.

“I’m thrilled to say that this is now bearing fruit with this wonderful international occasion for a non league football club.

“England Schoolboys’ football conjures images of some of our country’s most famous players, including the likes of Michael Owen. With the importance we put on our academy of more than 300 young people of all ages, abilities and genders, hosting this prominent fixture is a massive deal.

“This isn’t just for the football club or Spennymoor. We’re working hard to put County Durham on the map for football and having these big organisations of international importance in Durham brings a boost to the whole region. We’re working on our relationships with all of the country’s footballing bodies and hope to be involved in more national football going forwards.

“Make no mistake, we’ve done plenty of squad building and physical building over the last few years at our club. We’re now building the club’s reputation in other ways and these are the first signs that all our work is starting to have an impact.”

Phil Harding, chairman of English Schools’ FA, said: “We’re really looking forward to our visit to Spennymoor, a town with a wonderful footballing tradition, and with a football club that has made great strides in recent seasons. We hope the people of the area will support this prestigious international match – it would be marvellous to break the attendance record for the ground.”

* Tickets will go on sale later this year. Further details on admission prices will be released in due course.