FOUR years after losing every match in a futsal tournament in Spain, ten Oxford lads returned to Barcelona and carried off the trophy.

Oxford City Lions under 14 side won eight gruelling matches over three days to come out on top in the prestigious, televised St Cugat Futsal tournament.

Considering futsal is a much bigger game in Spain than in England, this was a remarkable achievement.

The boys were between nine and ten years old when they first went to Spain and only entered the original event, because it was organised by the former club of their manager Enrique Guillen.

Four years of hard training – twice a week – and multiple visits to other Spanish tournaments (Andorra, Asturias and Barcelona) paid off as the boys lifted the trophy and carried it back through UK Customs.

But their success is not isolated. The Lions’ adult team won the FA National Futsal Superleague in 2016 and went on to represent the FA in the UEFA Futsal Cup in Europe.

Guillen is keen the youngsters progress into the club’s senior side.

Indeed, England’s coaches are looking at the work he is doing with the boys and want to take them into the under 17 national development programme next year.

Lions have just secured kit sponsorship for another year from local joinery firm, AK Joinery Ltd.

But are looking to get further commercial sponsorship to support their continued journey in this sport.

Having beaten the Spanish at their own game as14 years-olds, there is hope that some of the youngsters may one day play for the English national senior team.