Pic: Andy Nunn
FORMER Premier League star Julio Arca says he has achieved a “personal dream” by leading South Shields to Wembley in the FA Vase.
The ex-Sunderland and Middlesbrough favourite played 350 times in his professional career, including 149 appearances in the Premier League.
Despite his great success after coming to England from his native Argentina, Arca never made it to Wembley but has now put that right.
The 36-year-old scored the opener in the Vase semi-final second leg against Coleshill Town as Shields went on to win the tie 6-1 on aggregate and set up a final against Northern Counties East League leaders Cleethorpes Town on Sunday, May 21.
Close to tears after the final whistle when asked about what getting to Wembley meant, Arca told BBC Newcastle: “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.
“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.”