Meet the girls' football team in Northumberland who beat mostly boys to win the league

Jonny Blair was at the Cramlington United Thundercats' weekly training session to hear how they are enjoying their latest success

A girls' under 11s football team in Cramlington have won the Northumberland Football League trophy - after facing off against mostly boys.

The Cramlington United Thundercats were the only all-girls team in the league, and are now the best in their age category in the mixed league.

Ava, who plays for the club, told ITV Tyne Tees: "It was pretty exciting because we've just been put into a boys' league, which we obviously found pretty hard."But I think we've done really well, so it's so exciting."

Ava said she was "excited" to be playing against the boys. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

Fellow teammate Liv said: "It's really good, we always support each other and cheer each other on, when we're upset about our performance, or injured in general."

The team trains every Tuesday evening from 6pm-7pm and are coached by Jordan Graham.

Mr Graham said: "[I'm] immensely proud. The girls are here every week, always working on their own individual skills and as a team on how they can improve to be the best that they can as footballers.

"They're very much at the forefront of the female game. Lots of the girls are also involved with Newcastle and Sunderland and they're always looking to push those boundaries and improve."

When the club was formed back in 2010, they had two female teams. They now have 20 teams, with over 300 women involved.

The Thundercats themselves nearly did the double this season too - they reached their cup final but ultimately lost out.

But the reigning league champions say they will be back to defend their title when the season starts.

The North East is no stranger to female footballing stars.

Jill Scott played for Manchester City before she retired from football. Credit: PA

In 2022 when England won the women's Euros, the victorious squad included a number of players from the region, including Jill Scott from Sunderland, Alnwick's Lucy Bronze, and Beth Mead, of Whitby.

Since then, grassroots women's football has become a hub of activity in the North East.

'The Jill Scott pitch' in Jarrow, South Tyneside, was opened by the Lioness it was named after in February 2023.

Meanwhile, girls playing at her old club in Boldon, Sunderland, spoke about how they were inspired by the star and now play in a girls' tournament across primary schools in the city, also named after Scott.

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