OXFORD United Under 10s were named team of the year by the club’s academy, but the recognition did not distract them from their main goal this month.

The 14 players and coach Tom Briggs were back out the next morning working hard as part of a challenge.

Having aimed to accumulate 1,000 kilometres and raise £1,000 for Sobell House during May, both targets were smashed with a fortnight to spare.

Also read: Ex-Oxford United defender Joe Skarz cycling 100 miles a day for a very good cause

In fact, the youngsters’ efforts have racked up more than £3,000 for the hospice in Headington.

The challenge began with Paul Chapman, who is a coach in United’s pre-academy age group.

His son Ethan plays in the Under 10s and initially the plan was to see if they could cover 100km in May.

But they quickly opened it up to the squad.

“The entire team said yes, so 100k wasn’t going to be enough,” Paul said.

“We increased it to 1,000km and it went nuts.

“It’s kept the boys fit and given some healthy competition.

“The sense of pride while wearing the badge of Oxford has been genuinely huge for them.

“It was so important they did something for a local charity.

“After winning the team of the year I thought they might sit back and enjoy it, but on Saturday morning they were back out there and my phone was pinging with all their distances.”

Support from first teamers such as Josh Ruffels and Cameron Brannagan has been a source of big motivation, while youth team player Tyler Goodrham has been among those to donate.

And the challenge has been a welcome focus for Briggs, who has enjoyed seeing the boys come closer together.

He said: “They’re working as a team again.

“They miss out on that aspect so much when they don’t have football.

“They normally see each other three or four times a week, so I would imagine it’s been quite a hit to them.”

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  • Team of the Year: Under 10s
  • Randall Bates Award (Outstanding U14): Monty Marriott
  • Kevin Durham Award (Outstanding U15): George Franklin
  • Academy Values Award (Outstanding Individual): Eddie Brearey
  • Save of the Season: Ben Harris
  • Goal of the Season: Harry Charles
  • Coach of the Year: Darren Purse

Players’ player

  • Under 9: Callum Ford
  • Under 10: Tyler Andrews
  • Under 11: Harley Gardner
  • Under 12: Callum Doyle
  • Under 13: Sam Sanderson
  • Under 14: Zaide Took-Oxley
  • Under 15: George Franklin
  • Under 16: Adam Smith