Hundreds of youngsters take part in Sunderland AFC EFL Kids Cup final as they begin road to Wembley
Over 30 primary school football teams took to the pitch at Silksworth Sports Complex in the Sunderland AFC club final of the EFL Kids Cup.
The six-a-side tournament was won by Easington Colliery Primary School, who defeated Toner Avenue in the final.
They will now travel to Leeds United’s Elland Road in March, where they will face under-11 sides from other northern-based clubs in the Championship in the regional qualifiers.
The winners of that event will take on the winners of the southern section at Wembley in front of thousands of fans before a play-off final match in May.
A spokesperson for the team said: “We’re buzzing after winning the tournament and looking forward to a really good trip to Leeds United.
“We’re very excited. Leeds are a big Championship club and it will be good to play at Elland Road.
“We’re confident and we think we’ve got a good chance of getting to Wembley.”
Check out our picture galleries from the EFL Kids Cup in Sunderland:
The EFL Kids Cup involves thousands of schoolchildren every year, making it one of the biggest national football competitions in the country.
It is supported by the EFL Trust, and the Sunderland AFC club final was organised by the Foundation of Light.
It was part of the charity’s school sports provision, which is delivered in hundreds of schools and academies in the North East.
Helen Byrne, the Foundation’s Premier League Primary Stars events co-ordinator, said: “The tournament was a great opportunity for the kids to take part, especially for the winning team to go on and play at an amazing ground like Elland Road.
“The main aim was to get as many kids as possible playing.
“We had over 240 youngsters from over 30 schools, which was fantastic to see.
“It’s good to bring schools from Sunderland, South Tyneside, Washington and County Durham together and to give them opportunities to take part in a competition of this magnitude.
“We have numerous tournaments running throughout the year aimed at different age groups for boys and girls so there are plenty of chances to take part in different sports.”
For more information about the Foundation of Light’s school sports, health and education programmes, email [email protected] or call 0191 5515318.