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Muswell Hill Football Academy Eagles soar to Grand Finale after being crowned champions

PUBLISHED: 07:00 16 June 2016

The Muswell Hill Football Academy Under-10 Eagles squad, pictured with ex-Arsenal and England striker Ian Wright (back row, centre). Middle row (left to right): Johnny Humphrey, Zac Robb, Hallam Pahl, Luke Wilmott. Front row: Daniel Robb, Sacha Tobias-Tarsh, Kirin Mattu, Andreas Hadjiloizou and Adam Wilson.

The Muswell Hill Football Academy Under-10 Eagles squad, pictured with ex-Arsenal and England striker Ian Wright (back row, centre). Middle row (left to right): Johnny Humphrey, Zac Robb, Hallam Pahl, Luke Wilmott. Front row: Daniel Robb, Sacha Tobias-Tarsh, Kirin Mattu, Andreas Hadjiloizou and Adam Wilson.

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Muswell Hill Football Academy Eagles won the Under-10 title at the ESF Festival of Football at Butlins in Bognor Regis - and they will now take on the best teams from across the country in their age group next month.

The Muswell Hill team won seven successive games to win the tournament, triumphing in penalty shoot-outs in both the semi-final and final to left the trophy, which was presented by ex-Arsenal and England striker Ian Wright.

They have now qualified for the ESF Grand Finale, which will take place at St George’s Park in July – and coach Dean Andrews Jenkins is thrilled with his side’s accomplishment.

“To win this tournament is an unbelievable achievement,” he said. “I am so proud of all of the players involved as they were exceptional in every single game.

“They played some incredible football throughout the weekend and fully deserved to be crowned champions. A big thank you also goes to the parents for their amazing support. Bring on the Grand Finale!”

More than 1,200 teams entered this year’s tournament, playing at various venues around the country, and the Eagles were quickly into their stride and among the goals in Bognor Regis.

A 2-1 win over Parringdon Youth was followed by a 7-2 triumph over Sevenoaks Town JFC United and a 4-1 victory over Stanway Rovers – and captain Kirin Mattu, who was prolific throughout the competition, then scored four times in a 6-1 rout of Splott Albion FC.

Muswell Hill went on to edge past Westminster Under School 2-1, which set up a semi-final clash against Carshalton Athletic White – and after a goalless match, the Eagles won 3-1 on penalties and progressed to the final.

The showdown against Billericay Town Colts also ended in a draw – 1-1 this time – and had to be resolved with a shoot-out, but Muswell Hill held their nerve again and triumphed 4-3 on spot-kicks to win the title.

Wright said: “ESF continues to produce a really high standard of football and all the children who attend look like they’ve had a great time at the festival.

“With so many teams involved, being crowned ESF champions is no mean feat, so congratulations to Muswell Hill Football Academy Eagles.”

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