FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS: Julio Arca and Jon King with children from Bowes Hutchinson’s Primary School
FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS: Julio Arca and Jon King with children from Bowes Hutchinson’s Primary School

EX-Premier League football star Julio Arca told children in Teesdale to follow their dreams when he visited two schools last week.

Julio Arca, who had spells with Sunderland and Middlesbrough, spoke to youngsters at Montalbo and Bowes Hutchinson’s primary schools.

At Bowes, he explained how his dream to play at Wembley only came true after his high profile playing days were over.

He finally made it to the iconic venue with South Shields in the FA Vase final in May last year. South Shields won the match against Cleethorpes Town 4-0.

Mr Arca told the children: “It just goes to show you should never give up on your dreams. Dreams can come true. If you put in the effort sometimes it pays off.”

The children quizzed Mr Arca about his career and learned that he started playing at the age of five.

He said: “I used to play everywhere I could – in the park, in the streets and in the club.”

Responding to a curious pupil Mr Arca said he scored about 24 goals for Sunderland and about 11 while playing for Middlesborough.

Old Well

He added: “It's not a lot of goals. I was more of a defender and midfielder.”

Asked what it takes to be a good footballer, Mr Arca said: “Be prepared to attend a lot of training sessions. Be prepared to play a lot of football.”

Mr Arca and former Sunderland AFC coach Jon King visited Teesdale as part of a promotional tour for a football course that is due to take place at Teesdale School on Monday, April 9, and Tuesday, April 10.

More than 70 children have already signed up for the course.

Mr Arca said: “I am really looking forward to the course. It is nice to come to a new place. There are lots of children interested in football and sport here.

“We will be providing them with as much information as possible for them to take on board for when they go back to their schools and play in their teams.”

Mr King added: “It is a fantastic opportunity for children to make new friends. Children support lots of different teams but as long as they enjoy football they will love our course."

For more information contact Mr King on 07795 024333