A TEAM of Swindon Academy’s scholars have made it through to the last 16 of the Soccer AM Cup, a national Futsal competition where the highlights are shown on the Sky Sport’s Saturday morning football show.

The eight-man squad represent Reading Football Club but are based at Swindon’s Futsal Arena and six of the squad are drawn from schools in the area.

They are Ben Alder (Farmors School), Curtis Meare, Joe Broadbank, Nathan Smith (Dorcan Academy), Jack Stanley (Kingsdown School) and Sam Lowrie (Isambard Community School).

The scholars are in their first year of playing whilst studying for a BTEC Level Three Extended Diploma.

Today the squad travel to Birmingham to take on Carlisle with a place on the quarter-final up for grabs.

To reach that stage the team of year-12 students qualified as runners-up in a group featuring futsal teams from Hereford United, Accrington Stanley and Derby County. The scholars beat Accrington 2-0 and Hereford 4-0 before losing to group winners Derby 5-2.

Kevin Coles oversees the players at Swidon Futsal Arena, he did not want to put too much expectation on the young side but said they had the ability to reach the last eight.

“They’re a young team that are getting better. We’re very organised as a side and rely on set-up plays,” said Coles.

“Futsal is fast moving and about transitions, if we work hard and frustrate then we’ve got a chance.

“If it’s 0-0 with a couple minutes to go and we get a free-kick or a corner we know we’ve got a set-piece to work with.”

Swindon Town’s futsal team have already qualified for the quarter-finals, the draw for which will be shown on Soccer AM this Saturday.

The trials for next year’s intake of Swindon Academy Futsal scholars also takes place this Saturday from 11am, those interested in taking part should contact Kevin Coles beforehand on kevin.coles@futsaluk.net or 07789202402.