YOUNG footballers have just missed out on being named the best in the country in a five-a-side tournament, but came home with their heads held high.

A team of seven boys from John Hanson Community School travelled to Birmingham to represent Southern Counties Schools on March 4 in National Cup Finals.

The tournament was structured with two groups of four teams, which lead into a ‘Cup and Plate’ competition.

The squad’s first game was against Queens’ School, which was representing Watford and District, and the match ended 3-1.

The team went onto win their next match 3-2, beating St Aidan’s CofE High School, from Harrogate and Craven, before going down 7-0 against Sandwell Academy.

In the semi-finals of the competition the team faced Kirkburton Middle School, representing Huddersfield, who had won Pool B without losing a game.

The game ended in penalties, with John Hanson winning 5-2, and making it into the final where their opponents were Sandwell Academy, who had earlier beaten the team.

However, Sandwell were victorious again meaning John Hanson claimed second place in a competition in which more than 1,000 teams entered in the first round.

PE teacher Lewis Nash said: “What a fantastic achievement from the team placing our little school onto the national map for football.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank our sponsors of the kit, accommodation and transport, without your support the experience the team got would not have been the same.

“To our John Hanson Community for your help in raising funds and spirit through the bake sale and constant words of encouragement and support through social media.

“To the parents and families that made the trip to Birmingham to support the team and finally to the team, who showed great character, commitment and desire to wear the John Hanson shirt with pride throughout this competition.

“Congratulations boys, I hope this leads to more success in future.”