Youngsters from Fulwell Junior School are to play at Manchester City’s Etihad stadium in the final round of a national six-a-side football tournament.
The team fought off stiff competition to be crowned North East champions at the regional final of the Premier League Schools Tournament on Saturday.
They will now go on to compete against schools from across the country at the national finals in May, where matches will be refereed by top Premier League officials.
If successful the team, made up of Ethan Neal, Jack Wilkinson, Alex Bates, Andrew Nelson, Archie Graham, James Haswell, Harry Wrathmall and Liam Gibson, will walk away with the national title and a replica Premier League trophy.
Gregor Robb, teacher at Fulwell Junior School, said: “I’m very proud of how well the boys played during the tournament.
“They demonstrated good sportsmanship throughout and played some lovely football.”
He added: “Twice they showed resilience to come from a goal behind during the competition, which is a mark of their character and determination.
“We’re very excited to represent Sunderland at the Etihad finals.”
The competition, open to mixed teams of players aged 11 and under, and girls-only teams aged 13 and under, is part of a national initiative by the Premier League to engage more boys and girls in football from an early age.
The North East round was organised by SAFC’s official charity the Foundation of Light, and involved pupils from more than 30 different schools in Sunderland, County Durham and South Tyneside.
Ian Archbold, Competition and Events Coordinator at the Foundation of Light, said: “All of the participants played extremely well in the North East round of the Premier League Schools Tournament and should be extremely proud of taking part.
“I would like to wish the team from Fulwell Junior School the best of luck in the national finals and hope they can bring the trophy back to the North East.”