Young footballers from Cheam Common Junior Academy moved a step closer to Wembley by winning the AFC Wimbledon Kids Cup on Tuesday.
The Worcester Park-based school beat off the challenge from 18 other teams to triumph in the tournament staged at Tooting & Mitcham.
It was a closely contested final with Cheam Common winning on penalties against Cleves School, Weybridge, who won the national competition at Wembley in May before the Dons beat Plymouth to earn promotion.
Matt Warner, PE teacher at Cheam Common, said: “I’m really pleased for the boys as they’ve worked really hard recently and it’s great when something like this comes off. They are absolutely buzzing to go on and represent AFC Wimbledon.”
Schools from Merton Sutton, Wandsworth, Kingston and Weybridge participated in the tournament.
The winning school will now go onto represent AFC Wimbledon in the regional finals early next year with a place at Wembley up for grabs.
The EFL 2016/17 Kinder + Sport Kids Cup, supported by the English Football League Trust, sees 10,000 boys from around the country compete for the chance to reach Wembley with the final staged ahead of the Checkatrade Trophy Final.
AFC Wimbledon Foundation Sports Development Manager Joe Roberts said: “We had a really good response from the boroughs we work in regularly. The standard of football seems to get better all the time and we had teachers commenting positively on the structure, organisation and game-time of the tournament. That is a big pat on the back for us.”
Coombe Girls’ School in New Malden won the AFC Wimbledon Girls Cup, which was staged recently.