Julio Arca set to achieve lifelong Wembley ambition for South Shields in FA Vase final

David Pepper
90Min
​Former Sunderland and Middlesbrough midfielder Julio Arca is set to fulfil a lifelong ambition of playing at Wembley when South Shields face Cleethorpes in the FA Vase final in May.  The 36-year-old has made 317 league appearances in England, but has never had the opportunity to play at the prestigious national stadium. Remember Julio Arca? The ex-Sunderland man is set to play at Wembley for the first time... at 36. Read more: https://t.co/pqFDK3JPdW pic.twitter.com/2224O1h9QK — BBC Sport...

Former Sunderland and Middlesbrough midfielder Julio Arca is set to fulfil a lifelong ambition of playing at Wembley when South Shields face Cleethorpes in the FA Vase final in May. 

The 36-year-old has made  317 league appearances in England, but has never had the opportunity to play at the prestigious national stadium.

 

The dream is now set to become a reality for Arca, as the midfielder and his South Shields' teammates progressed into the FA Vase final - after their 6-1 aggregate semi-final win over Coleshill Town. 

Arca, who scored in the semi-final victory, told the BBC: " It's a personal dream. We did it and everyone deserves it at the club - the manager, the players and the people behind us who worked really hard to have a quality ground."

South Shields almost did not make it past the fourth round, but a floodlight failure at their home ground helped them to progress. In the tie against Morpeth Town, they were 4-2 down with only nine minutes left on the clock, before the dodgy floodlight caused the match to be abandoned. 

 

They won the rescheduled fixture 4-0 and followed up this victory with wins against Team Solent, Newport Pagnell and Coleshill to see them on their way to Wembley. 

He added:  "I think that was the dream day, everything went our way.  We're in the final, but it's only half of the job done. We achieved something fantastic for the club."

After leaving Middlesbrough in 2013, Arca went on to play for second-division pub side Willow Pond FC. He then made the move to Northern League Division Two side South Shields in 2015.

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