FOOTBALL : Young aces earn place with stars; Sheldon school football team cap an amazing year with a trip to St Andrew's.
IT is not every day that a school football team can say they ran out on to a Premiership pitch alongside stars including England Internationals Steven Gerrard and Emile Heskey - but that was the prize for Lyndon Green Juniors FC.
The Sheldon-based school capped an incredible season last year by winning a handful of major trophies including the six-a-side FlyBe Community Cup which saw them beat 24 other Midland schools.
And their reward for their success in the trophy, which was made upof three leagues of eight teams, was to visit St Andrew's for the big Premiership clash between Blues and Liverpool to receive the cup.
The ten and 11year-olds in years five and six who make up the Wensley Road School team were invited to parade the cup around at half-time at the match which was shown live on Sky pay-per-view TV. Airline company FlyBe, who organised the event and the competition, are also the main teamsponsors of Steve Bruce's side. And PE teacher and football coach Craig Clarke said it was for many of the Blues-mad schoolboys a day they will always remember.
Craig said: "The team had actually already played the final at St Andrew's and the qualifying games at Blues' Wast Hills Training Ground but to run out on the pitch in front of 20,000 fans was something else.
"We beat St Edwards RC Junior & Infant School from Selly Park in the final and did not concede a single goal in the whole competition which was pretty impressive.
The team also won the HMS Birmingham Shield, the Matthew Boulton Trophy, were runners-up in the BESSA 11-a-side League and won the 4-a-side Birmingham Schools Championships last season so they have every reason to feel proud."
School secretary Carole Brookes said: "The whole school is very proud of the team and many tuned in to watch the match on Sky in the hope of seeing the boys.
"The new term and new season has just kicked off so the team is already preparing to defend its incredible record
CHAMPIONS... Lyndon Green Juniors FC celebrate. Back from left, Joseph, Louis, Josh, Dane and Rob. Front from left, Billy, Sam and Tom