Wembley Football League supported by Raheem Sterling sees drama on finals day

Queens Park Sharks under-10s face the camera

Queens Park Sharks under-10s face the camera - Credit: Zaffar Van Kalwala

More than 200 Brent children took part in the Wembley Football League Finals Day, which featured a host of exciting matches at Ark Elvin Academy, on Saturday.

The competition, which was backed by Raheem Sterling, was organised by former Local Councillor, Zaffar Van Kalwala and supported by Wembley National Stadium Trust.

The U10’s competition was won by Queens Park Sharks who beat AFC Wembley in the final after a dramatic penalty shoot-out.

Youngs U13s won their division after a tense penalty shoot-out against Queens Park Sharks after both sides drew 3-3 in their league cup final match.

Youngs FC under-13s face the camera

Youngs FC under-13s face the camera - Credit: Zaffar Van Kalwala

The initiative, which kicked off in April and is the first of its kind in Brent included 18 teams from across the borough.

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The Wembley Football League aims to bring together children and young people from different cultures and backgrounds to play football and to have fun and to celebrate Brent’s diverse community.

Queens Park Sharks winning penalty

Queens Park Sharks winning penalty - Credit: Zaffar Van Kalwala

Asa Bruckner (Queens Park Sharks U10) said: “I’ve really enjoyed playing for the Wembley league this season, it’s been a great experience for me and all my teammates at Queen’s Park sharks.

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"It’s been good to meet new teams, push ourselves and try to get better. Practice makes perfect after all.

"We are still a long way off that but we were so happy to bring home the trophy.”

Zaffar Van Kalwala (Former Local Councillor) said: “I grew-up playing football in Brent and I was shocked to find out the home of English football and the national stadium did not have a football tournament like this for young people.

"I’m therefore delighted to have been able to organise the Wembley Football League and help provide much-needed opportunities for our local children.”

Stewart Goshawk (Chief Executive, Wembley National Stadium Trust) said: “The Wembley Football League has been a brilliant experience for everyone involved.

"Through this new venture, football really has “come home” to Brent. The finals day was, as expected, a tense affair, with so much at stake – and inevitably the appearance of several penalty shoot-outs to decide the winners and losers.

"The borough can be proud of the way that all of the young people conducted themselves throughout, with a real sense of sportsmanship.

"Thanks, of course, go to all of the parents, coaches and volunteers who have supported the League from the start and to Middlesex FA for their help and guidance.”

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