NEWLY-FORMED Risca United Academy have been crowned Football Association of Wales (FAW) Academy Cup winners in their first season as a club.

The team is made up of former members of Caerphilly Schools Football Club and Risca United.

The under-12 group also reached the FAW Futsal Finals Day recently, where they narrowly lost out in the semi-finals.

After that disappointment the team came back on top form and went undefeated all season in the 9v9 format, winning eight games and drawing two.

They were crowned southern champions before proceeding to the knock-out stages, during which they claimed victories against Port Talbot Town and Cambrian & Clydach.

These wins clinched them a place in the national final hosted by the FAW earlier this month at the home of Welsh Premier League side Newtown.

And Risca United Academy beat northern champions Bala Town 5-1 with goals from Ethan Edwards, Leon Thomas, Alex Newman Jones, Morgan Evans and Drew Davies to win the trophy.

Robert Bailey, head of academy, said: “We are very proud to have achieved FAW Academy status that allows players from Caerphilly County Borough to compete at the highest level of junior football outside of professional clubs.

“To be crowned the FAW Academy Cup winners is something to be proud of, but to do so in our first season really is the stuff of dreams and something the players will carry with them forever!"

Andrew Howard, head of competitions at the FAW, said: “Becoming the Welsh Academy under-12 champions is a fantastic achievement for Risca in their first season of academy football.

“I have been extremely impressed by the standards of the academy from day one and the hardworking volunteers should be commended for that.

“The outstanding facilities, excellent coaching and strong games programme will ensure that the academy goes from strength to strength, the most significant outcome being better players for the club, the community and Wales.”

The club is based at the Centre for Sporting Excellence in Ystrad Mynach – where Newport Gwent Dragons train.

It provides representative football in both Welsh Schools and FAW Academy competitions for junior footballers across the Caerphilly borough.

The club contains players across a vast range of age groups who enjoy playing against top quality opposition from all over Wales on a regular basis.