Richmond-based London Falcons FC are celebrating after winning the annual Gay Footballers’ Support Network National five-a-side Championship in Cardiff.

The team eventually defeated GFC Bournemouth on penalties in the final after a gruelling schedule of eight league matches followed by four knock-out rounds.

As well as finishing third in the World Championship last season, Falcons also won both the GFSN National League and the London Unity Football League.

The tournament’s top-scorer and Falcons club manager Kevin Latham said: “I’m absolutely delighted that we won such a competitive and high-quality tournament.

“It was a long, tiring day but we maintained our standards throughout the 12 games, plus for pretty much the first time this season the luck was with us and we got what we deserved.”

His thoughts were echoed by his strike partner and captain Alex Bryce, who added: “I’m aching all over today but it was worth it. We played against some really tough teams, particularly in the knock-out stages but I’m relieved that we finally got some silverware this season.

“I felt sorry for Bournemouth who lost their third penalty shoot-out of the tournament but I’m sure they went home with their heads held high.”

With the post-tournament celebrations and hangovers out of the way, the team are now thinking about the new season.

Falcons plan to compete in the GFSN National League and Cup, as well as entering two sides in the new-look London Unity League. A number of five-a-side tournaments and the 2010 World Championship in Cologne complete the schedule for next season.

Anyone wishing to join the club, whether for competitive or recreational football, or even just to make friends, should contact them at falconsfccaptain@hotmail.co.uk or visit the website at www.falconsgfc.com. Teams are open to both men and women.