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The Non-League Football Paper

Lifting the FA Vase with South Shields was overwhelming, says Julio Arca

Pic: Andy Nunn

FORMER Premier League ace Julio Arca says lifting the Buildbase FA Vase with South Shields exceeded his expectations.

The Mariners continued the Northern League’s domination of the Vase as they became the eighth winner from the North East in the past nine seasons.

Shields took the lead against Cleethorpes Town just before half time and three late goals secured the victory, allowing Arca to lift the Vase.

Despite playing 362 professional games for Argentinos Juniors, Sunderland and Middlesbrough, Sunday was Arca’s first visit to the national stadium.

And the 36-year-old Argentinian says he was overwhelmed by the experience of captaining the Mariners under the arch.

“It’s probably even more than what I thought it was going to be,” Arca told BBC Newcastle. “It was all about winning and that’s what we have done.

“To lift that trophy after the game, it’s hard to explain how happy I’m feeling. I always mention the people who worked here in the tough times, now they can enjoy the good times.”

On Shields’ 13,000 strong travelling army at Wembley, Arca added: “To see that amount of people coming to support the team is incredible for the level we play.

“We paid everyone back for a fantastic season, but this is what we were looking for.”

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