Playing in an older age group in their biggest competition yet, the Glen Innes under 12s pulled on the English stripes for the mini World Cup and defied even their expectations.
The young squad played in the under 13 division at the tournament in Inverell last week and after losing their first game, headed into battle for the World Cup Shield.
It was just what they needed to kick into gear and the side didn’t miss a beat for the remainder of the competition and claimed the Shield.
We weren't expecting to do anything like that so they really enjoyed it.Chris Wilson
Coach Chris Wilson predicted they would need a couple of games to match it with teams but admitted they went further than anyone in the side could have imagined.
“The kids were stoked, they were over the moon,” he said.
“They were jumping up and down, it was like all their Christmases came at once.
“We weren't expecting to do anything like that so they really enjoyed it.
“Once they found their feet they were all over it, they started playing as a team and it was brilliant.
“It was great to watch.”
For a team of kids who played most of their season games on frost mornings, the Inverell temperatures could have hampered their performances but they battled on.
“The heat played a lot of havoc, the third day we played the temperature was about 32 degrees and they had three games,” Wilson said.
The mini World Cup marked the end of the representative soccer season for the squad.
If they choose to sign up again next year the Glen Innes team will contest the same division again.
“I think I have convinced most of them to come back,” Wilson said.
“It didn't take much convincing but they want me to coach them next year, so bring it on.
“Thanks to the kids for a great week and hope to see them all again next year.”