Julio Arca: South Shields team captain overwhelmed by Wembley experience

Julio Arca
Julio Arca made 157 Premier League appearances in his top-flight career - 86 for Sunderland and 71 for Middlesbrough

Ex-Middlesbrough and Sunderland midfielder Julio Arca says Sunday's Wembley success with FA Vase winners South Shields exceeded expectations.

Argentinian Arca, 36, had never played at the national stadium before, despite playing 362 professional games.

His maiden experience of the famous venue proved an enjoyable one with 4-0 win against Cleethorpes Town.

"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."

Shields completed a quadruple of trophies with the victory, having already collected the Northern League Division One title, the Durham Challenge Cup and the Northern League Cup.

They were backed by 13,000 fans at Wembley as they became the eighth side in nine seasons from the Northern League to win the Vase.

"To see that amount of people coming to support the team is incredible for the level we play," Arca said.

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

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