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Youth Academy update | June 2022
Gateshead FC
Author: Gateshead FC

9th June 2022

Gateshead FC wishes to provide an update on the direction the club has elected to take for its Junior Academy (U9-16s) teams for the 2022/23 season, following a performance review of the 2021/22 season.

In 2020/21 we prioritised the implementation of our Junior Academy. Our aim was to establish teams across the Foundation and Youth Development Phase leading into our Professional Development Phase as part of our full-time football education programme, in partnership with Gateshead College.

This included top class facilities, specialist staff across different departments of our multi-faceted programme and participating in regional divisions, sometimes covering a wide geographical area in the Junior Premier League, which proved challenging.

Although it was very exciting to have elite teams at almost every age group from U9-16s providing a complete pathway from mini-soccer to our full-time football education academy, as the season progressed, we struggled to cope with the demand.

Ensuring quality, player/parent satisfaction and managing logistics (such as facilities, which is partially due to the lack of FA approved 4G pitches in the borough) under the high level of demand proved difficult.

Gateshead FC will continue to strive towards creating a quality player pathway, and we can now confirm changes in the next step following our initial launch 12 months ago.

The re-structure will initially reduce the capacity of our academy setup for the 2022/23 season, focusing on the U14, 15 and 16s age groups for both boys and girls.

A temporary reduction in teams will allow us to establish the foundations of a successful and enjoyable structure for parents, players and staff.

The new model will see Gateshead FC Juniors, our longstanding affiliates, incorporated more prominently into our academy system.

This will see both benefit from our long-term player and coach development plan, which we are incredibly excited about.

Our plan will allow the club to provide a professional feel across both phases, as well as providing another pathway for boys and girls, with the potential for player movements between the Junior and Academy phases, with absolute confidence.

This structure will allow us to work towards embedding principles which reflect the Elite Player Performance Plan, utilised by every EFL Football Academy.

Therefore, we are delighted to announce that the academy will be led by first team player-coach Louis Storey as our newly appointed Head of Football Development.

Louis will combine his new role within our academy setup alongside his playing and coaching duties with the club’s first team, and will oversee the academy infrastructure through to our U16s.

If you have a requisite skillset, or are working towards a qualification that is appropriate for this environment and wish to be involved with a professional football club, please contact us by email at [email protected].

Boys Recruitment Dates

Monday 27th June

  • U14 (Year 9) 18:00 – 19:00
  • U15 (Year 10) 19:00 – 20:00
  • U16 (Year 11) 19:00 – 20:00

Monday 4th July

  • U14 (Year 9) 18:00 – 19:00
  • U15 (Year 10) 19:00 – 20:00
  • U16 (Year 11) 19:00 – 20:00

Monday 11th July

  • U14 (Year 9) 18:00 – 19:00
  • U15 (Year 10) 19:00 – 20:00
  • U16 (Year 11) 19:00 – 20:00

Register your interest here.

Girls Recruitment Dates

Monday 27th June

  • U14 (Year 9) 18:00 – 19:00
  • U15 (Year 10) 18:00 – 19:00

Monday 4th July

  • U14 (Year 9) 18:00 – 19:00
  • U15 (Year 10) 18:00 – 19:00

Monday 11th July

  • U14 (Year 9) 18:00 – 19:00
  • U15 (Year 10) 18:00 – 19:00

Register your interest here.

Proven Pathway

A number of Gateshead FC Academy graduates have gone on to establish themselves within professional football over the years, both at Gateshead FC and beyond.

Adam Reach, Chris Basham and David Carson all forged careers in the Football League after learning their trade within our academy system, going on to appear for clubs such as Middlesbrough, Sheffield United and Blackburn Rovers.

Jon Mellish and Tom White became integral members of Gateshead’s Vanarama National League squad from 2017 to 2019 after progressing through the academy, and have since made their mark in League Two with Carlisle United and Barrow.

Their former team-mate Elliot Forbes remains part of Gateshead’s first team squad having signed a contract extension for the 22/23 season, and has made 47 appearances to date.

Connor Pani signed his first professional contract with The Heed ahead of the 2021/22 season after impressing first team coaching staff in training sessions and made 14 appearances in our Vanarama National League North title-winning campaign.

A further three former academy players have signed professional terms on Tyneside ahead of the 2022/23 season, with Eddie Thomas, Kyle Errington and Lewis Leech all joining Mike Williamson’s squad after impressing in our U19s’ league and cup double campaign.

Academy Offering

  • Two hrs of pitch-based work, in addition to game time.
  • Strength and Conditioning
  • Performance Analysis;
  • Video Analysis
  • Performance Reviews
  • Tactical Workshops
  • Athlete Workshops
  • Futsal
  • Specialist GK coaching
  • Training Kit
  • First Team Season Ticket
  • End of Season Awards

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