Footballers at Gorleston school are invincibles of their county

Lynn Grove Academy's invincibles. Back row (left to right) Stephen Goddard (team coach) Charlie Man

Lynn Grove Academy's invincibles. Back row (left to right) Stephen Goddard (team coach) Charlie Mansfield, Jason Soames, Brad Graham, Jack Cottingham, Elliot Duffield, Kieran Cossey, Logan Lonergan, Kyle Richardson.Front row (left to right): Connor Howes, Josh Ford, Ray Urry, Ollie Saunders, Finlay Barnes. Picture: Lynn Grove Academy - Credit: Lynn Grove Academy

It is a name reserved for just a select few football teams in history. Arsenal earned it in 2003-04, as did Preston North End in the late 1800s and just last season, Celtic also claimed the name 'Invincibles'.

But now a team of schoolboys in Gorleston also has a strong claim to this moniker themselves,

In the beautiful game, 'Invincibles' is the name bestowed upon a team that complete a full season or league without the bitter taste of defeat.

However, for Lynn Grove Academy's year 11 boys team, it can apply to an entire school career. This is because when the team graduated from the academy, they did so without ever having been beaten in Norfolk.

The team claimed their fifth consecutive cup triumph, winning the Under 16 Norfolk Senior County Cup with a 4-1 victory over Wymondham College, ensuring they completed their school careers without ever losing to a fellow Norfolk side.


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Stephen Goddard, year 11 progress leader and team coach, said: 'I'm absolutely delighted for them. They are an immensely talented bunch, but they have also developed into a solid team who work extremely hard for one another.'

In their five years at the school, the youngsters played more than 60 games across three of the county's school competitions, going unbeaten each year.

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Mr Goddard said: 'They have all really grown over the years, both as individuals and as a team. When they came to us they were all clearly very talented, but were not as tight as a team.

'However, as time went on they learned to play a more technical game and work more as a team, which is a big part of why they have been so successful.'

While the team remain unbeaten in county competition, Mr Goddard said defeat in national competitions only helped their development by preventing complacency.

He said: 'The furthest they reached in the national cup was the sixth round and I think this really helped them and got them thinking that when they did lose, it was about attitude. This really helped with their mentality.

'There were some nerves before the final match, but I told them to go out and enjoy it, concentrate on playing their game and do their best, which they did. It's an exceptional achievement and I could not be more proud.'

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