SCHOOLBOY footballers showed their mettle winning through to national finals with a nerves-of-steel penalty shootout.
Six Richmond School and Sixth Form College Year 10s are stepping up their training regimes in preparation for the Play Station National Cup finals.
They will join colleagues from Stokesley, Northallerton and Bedale schools to form the Hambleton and Richmondshire area squad, which will play Aldershot at Stoke City’s stadium in May.
To reach the final, the students successfully took part in two penalty shootouts including one against last year’s champions The Wirral.
They have also beaten metropolitan squads, such as Manchester, which can draw players from scores of secondary schools.
Richmond School and Sixth Form College PE teacher and Year 10s coach Tom Westgate said: “It has been such a fantastic effort by the boys who thoroughly deserve their place in the finals thanks to some amazing skills and nerves of steel.
“When you consider how few schools there are providing potential players in the Hambleton and Richmondshire area compared to the larger conurbations, it is incredible that our team has such depth of talent.”
The Richmond School players include George Pollard, 15, of Leeming Bar, Uchenna Anyadiegwu, 15, of Richmond, James Metcalfe, 15, of Muker, Josh Coburn, 15, of Tunstall, Gus Glass, 15, of Eryholme and Bailey Proudlock, 14, of Dalton.
Team captain and striker Josh, who is undergoing trials with Leeds, said: “We are really looking forward to the final. I have played at Elland Road, Leeds, and know just how great it is to play in a professional stadium.
“We play some great passing football so have been hampered by the recent water-logged conditions, but we will address that. We understand that Aldershot have a good striker but at least they are an area similar to us with not so many schools to pull players from, unlike Manchester who can draw from 33, so we remain optimistic.”