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Academy trio sign professional deals
Jack McGraghan
Author: Jack McGraghan

31st May 2022

Gateshead Football Club is delighted to confirm the signings of academy players Eddie Thomas, Kyle Errington and Lewis Leech on one-year professional contracts.

The trio spent last season within the club’s academy setup, appearing for Ben Clark’s under-19 side as they went on to win a league and cup double by lifting the National League U19 Alliance Division I and National League U19 Alliance League Cup.

The three youngsters have put pen to paper on one-year professional terms at Gateshead International Stadium, with the option of a second year at the club’s discretion, and will become part of the club’s first team squad for the 2022/23 Vanarama National League season.

Errington and Leech – the latter of whom captained the U19s side – made their senior debuts for the club during the 2021/22 National League North season, appearing as injury-time substitutes in a 4-0 win away to Alfreton Town in February.

The duo have also spent time out on loan in the Northern League, with Errington appearing for Whitley Bay while Leech has appeared for Jarrow FC.

Thomas was included in the first team squad on two occasions last season, making the substitutes bench in successive away wins over Bradford (Park Avenue) and Hereford in January 2022.

The forward also impressed at Northern League Division One side Crook Town last season, ending the season as their leading scorer with nine goals.

“I’m happy, I’ve been trying to get this contract for the past three years now,” said Leech.

“All three of us have worked hard this season, in fact all of the team has.

“When I come up to first team it’s a good challenge for me, and i’m hoping training with them full time this season makes me a better player.”

Errington added: “I’m buzzing, I’ve been here two years now and I’ve always wanted to be a footballer full time.

“I’ve learned a lot this year with Ben [Clark] and the lads, and we’ve done well as a group.

I’m really looking forward to it, I think it’s going to improve myself, Lewis and Eddie a lot.”

Thomas added: “It feels really good, it’s probably what i’ve been working hard for my entire life.

“I scored a few goals in pre-season and that made me think that I can play and score against men – playing in the men’s game is completely different to youth football.

“[The aim is] to score as many goals as possible really.”

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