Gateshead FC staff and players from the first team and Academy with new Junior Academy players standing on a football pitch smiling at the camera.

Gateshead FC Launch Junior Academy

School children from across the North East are set to benefit from a new football development programme launched by Gateshead FC.

Working with Gateshead College, the club aims to create the next generation of footballing talent in the region through its new Junior Football Academy for players aged 10 to 16.

The new programme will provide progression to the Gateshead FC Academy, a long-standing partnership between Gateshead FC and Gateshead College which gives 16- to 18-year-olds the chance to study and play for a professional club.  The Academy has produced footballing stars including Oli Thompson, Elliot Forbes, Tom White and Connor Pani.

The Gateshead FC Junior Academy includes girls’ and boys’ teams and caters for all abilities from the age of 10, or school year six. All teams will use Gateshead College’s facilities at the Academy of Sport by Gateshead International Stadium for training and development and the college’s coaches will be involved in the U16 pathways to progression.

Neil Pinkerton, chairman of Gateshead FC, said: “We are thrilled to launch the Junior Academy in partnership with Gateshead College.

“Following in the footsteps of our highly successful Gateshead FC Academy, our junior version is a highly positive step in nurturing young talent and providing pathways to excellence in football.

“Our collective efforts will ensure the North East continues to be a fertile ground for developing football stars of the future.”

As the principal partner, Gateshead College will play a key role in raising the awareness of the junior academy to sustain, develop and grow the programme.

John Deary, assistant principal at Gateshead College, said: “Being part of our local community is really important to us and we’re pleased to be partnering with Gateshead FC to develop youth football both in Gateshead and the wider region.

“The Gateshead FC Junior academy builds on our existing partnership with Gateshead FC to give junior players a brilliant opportunity to train and coach with a professional club with a clear pathway to continue in their chosen sport both during and beyond their college studies.

“We’re proud to be at the forefront of shaping promising futures for young players in the North East and we know the academy will have a positive impact young people across the region.”