Continental flavour to Hellesdon glory

Hellesdon Under-16 have taken on Europe and won – after doing the same in their Norfolk Youth Combination division this season.

The team, managed by Paul Mitchell, got their first taste of football on a Saturday afternoon at Ian Spinks Soccer School, at Kinsale, from the age of six.

And that grounding took them all the way through to the Norfolk Youth Combination's Under-16B title this season after a tense final game against nearest rivals Firside.

Needing to win, they scraped home with a 1-0 victory that delivered the silverware.

Then came five days of football to remember.

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After taking in Norwich City's remarkable 5-1 Championship win over fierce rivals Ipswich, Hellesdon travelled to Holland for the Netherlands Easter Cup to take on six other teams: one from England plus teams from Germany and Holland.

The tournament was a round robin format and by the end of the second day, Hellesdon had completed their fixtures – picking up five wins and a draw against opposition that included an under-18 team and an academy outfit.

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Hellesdon did not concede a goal in 240 minutes of football, returning home with the winners' trophy sitting on the coach dashboard.

All that was left was the trip home, during which Hellesdon enjoyed the news of Norwich City's last gasp victory over Derby County on the radio.

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