Durant has a fine ear for contemporary idiom and the dialogue in this book is truly alive, bringing out the different characters of the team.
The narrative is equally colourful: "If Dareth was pants in the first half, he was great big granny knickers in the second."
Another football series for a similar audience is Phantom Football by Rob Childs. In Soccer Shadows (Corgi pound;3.99), Tom seems set for some run-of-the-mill beach football on a family holiday until his sister notices that his six-a-side team-mates don't cast any shadows.
Michael Thorn is deputy head of Hawkes Farm primary, Hailsham