SUNDERLAND Primary School Boys are celebrating a double success.
The city’s representative side remained unbeaten throughout their league campaign in lifting the Harrison Cup, and added the Derwentside and Medomsley Cup, conceding just one goal on their way to lifting the trophy.
The boys competed on a home and away basis in the Harrison Cup against North Tyneside, South Tyneside, Stockton, Darlington, Chester-le-Street, Derwentside and Redcar and Cleveland and finished as league champions with two games still to play, with 10 wins and two draws in their 12 games, scoring 47 goals and conceding just seven.
In the Derwentside and Medomsley Cup, Sunderland beat South Tyneside 3-1 in the quarter-final, thanks to goals from Niall Palmer, Callum Guy and Dillon Clark.
In the semi-finals, Aaron Duell’s double inspired a 4-0 win over Stockton, backed by goals from Clark and captain Kieron Olsen.
Sunderland then got the better of Redcar and Cleveland in a hard-fought final, Callum Guy’s goal proving decisive.
That helped Guy finish as the top scorer, with 11 goals in league and cup, two more than strike partner Niall Palmer. Impressively, 11 of the 16-strong squad got on the scoresheet throughout the campaign.
The double triumphed delighted manager Chris Lindstedt, who became involved three seasons ago as assistant manager to Shane Mullane. When Mullane returned to his native Ireland last summer, Lindstedt took over as manager – and had his hands full as chairman and treasurer of the Sunderland Primary Schools FA, too.
He said: “It goes without saying that we are extremely proud of the boys and their achievements this season.
“We originally had 130 boys at trials at the end of last season and it was extrememely difficult to choose the final squad.
“Having watched the boys compete in district football all season, I have been dismayed this week to see Gareth Southgate and his counterparts at the FA air proposals to stop boys playing 11-a-side football until they reach the under-13 age group.
“This would just about spell the end for primary school football in Sunderland and would deny future generations of ‘Sunderland Boys’ the types of memories that this squad of boys will take with them at the end of this season.”