STANWAY Rovers under-13s will compete for the honour of being the best team in their age group, in the South East.

They won the Eastern Junior Alliance (EJA), which is the highest standard league in the South East of England, covering Essex, Suffolk, Hertfordshire and London and regarded as the link between academy and grassroots football.

They are the only team from Colchester and District to be accepted into the league.

Stanway will now represent the region in the league play-offs, against the other three regional champions.

They won their semi-final after beating North London-based side Cockfosters 1-0, at Haverhill Rovers FC.

They are now awaiting the outcome of the other semi-final between Grays Athletic and Concord Rangers to discover their opponents.

Manager Matt Binks, who has been with the team since day one, said: "It has taken a great effort from the boys, not to mention the parents.

"We have had to travel 1,108 miles this season for our matches."

Stanway's achievements this season already make them the most successful Colchester team to have competed in the EJA, since its inception in 1987 and they now hope to be the area's first winners.

The core of the team has been together since under-nine level and moved over from Colchester Villa to Stanway Rovers, to be eligible to compete in the EJA.

They have won six league titles in seven year, finishing second in the A league of the age above in the only year they failed to win the crown.

Seven players from the team have signed to professional clubs, with a further six earning trials.