Two students, from Richmond School and Sixth Form College, are celebrating after their team won an International Football Tournament.
Max Booth and Matty Callender, both Year 10 st’udents, were part of the Darlington Quakers U15 football squad who travelled to Holland to take part in the 33rd Blauw Zwart U15s International Tournament. Competing against twenty teams, including those from Holland, Germany and Denmark, Max and Matty played seven unbeaten games over two days, with the top two teams playing in the final. Darlington pulled out all the stops to get to the final against AFC Varde from Denmark. After going behind to an early goal, the team battled back and won the game 2:1, with Matty being crowned the tournament’s ‘Most Valuable Player’.
Steve Gent, Darlington Quakers U15 Coach commented: “Matty and Max both played an important part throughout the tournament, not just on the pitch but also off it, putting in some tremendous performances which didn’t go unnoticed and, as a result, Matthew was voted as the tournament’s Most Valuable Player by the tournament organisers. Both boys have been a pleasure to coach this season and we are all looking forward to the forthcoming 2019/20 season.” During the tournament Max scored one goal and Matty four goals, and throughout the event Darlington was the leading goal scorer, only conceding three goals.
Max and Matty are highly-regarded members of the Darlington squad, playing centre of defence and attacking central midfielder. They train twice each week, with Saturday games in the Russell Foster Premier League, which includes teams from Newcastle, Sunderland, Middlesbrough and Hartlepool. The team also played up a year group in the U16 County Cup and won the tournament, which was a fabulous achievement. In addition, the boys are key players in the School U15 squad and they are also in the North Yorkshire County team.
Robert Fotheringham, PE Teacher at Richmond School, said: “The success of Max and Matty in their recent football tour to Holland comes as no surprise to me as the attitude of both boys has been exemplary all season. Both lads have shown their desire to succeed not only through their attendance at training every week but also through their constant hunger to improve in sessions throughout the year. I can only see a bright future for the pair playing at a top level if they maintain their current mindset which I know they will.”
Max and Matty will play for Darlington’s U16 team in the 2019/20 season, however to challenge the squad they will be playing a year up in the U17 league. Max concluded: “The tournament was not only a fabulous experience but further developed our technique and team-building skills. We are really looking forward to moving up to the Quakers’ Under 17 squad next season.”