Gateshead College is kicking off the new academic year with a newly appointed coaching team to inspire the next generation of professional football coaches and players.
Gary Middleton, a UEFA A licensed coach, will be supported by coaches Jon Shaw, Robbie Pringle, Vince Hutton and James Curtis.
Gary, who is 48 and from Gosforth, said: “Our main purpose is to give students as many skills and opportunities as possible for them to use when they leave college. We will support and mentor the student athletes for their entire college career, with consistent on hand advice and development.
“The team is made up of a fantastic, talented and experienced group of professionals and I look forward to working with Jon, Robbie, Vince and James. It is a really exciting opportunity to work for such a prestigious college and I am privileged to be leading a new era in football development, preparing the next generation of professional players and coaches.”
Gary’s football career began as a young player for Manchester United School Boys, before going on to join Millwall as an apprentice and continuing to enjoy a 20-year career in playing and coaching semi-professional football across the Northern League and Northern Premier League, as well as Newcastle United youth teams.
Jon spent 16 years as a professional footballer playing for Sheffield Wednesday, Luton Town and Gateshead FC and is currently playing for South Shields FC. Jon is currently coaching for Middlesbrough FC academy. Vince, a former player for Sunderland AFC also holds a UEFA A license and Advanced Youth Award and formerly held the position of lead phase coach at Newcastle United FC.
Robbie is a FA coach educator and mentor for County Durham, supporting local grassroots clubs and coaches to enhance opportunities for players. He recently returned from a contract working in China before becoming part of the college’s team.
The fourth coach joining the team is James Curtis, who played professionally for Gateshead FC and became Gateshead’s all-time record appearance holder at Wembley in the 2014 Conference play-off final.
In addition to the strengthened Men’s Football Development Centre programme, the college has also built on its relationship with Gateshead FC, and is now offering the Gateshead Football Club Scholarship Programme, a progression route for budding young players or football coaches.
Full time Gateshead College students who are selected for the programme will have the chance to play football for the youth team and the first team squads while gaining industry recognised qualifications in playing or coaching.
At the end of the programme, students could sign a professional contract with Gateshead FC or another professional club while leaving college with nationally recognised qualifications and the skills and experience to succeed in a rewarding career in the world of football.
Liam Gumbrill, sports academy lead, said: “This is an exciting time for the Men’s Football Development Centre as we welcome a range of experienced coaches and players led by Gary Middleton.
“Our aim is to provide a wide range of opportunities for keen student athletes, both on and off the pitch. We want to encourage different paths for our talented students to follow, including in professional playing and coaching whilst also supporting their education in their chosen subjects.
“The new team, coupled with the new opportunities available for students with Gateshead FC provides us with an unrivalled course for any young person who wants to follow a career in football.”
Academy of Sport students work with coaches to perfect their sporting skills while gaining academic and coaching qualifications, all in an environment which inspires them to achieve great success. Gateshead College has nine sports academies, including athletics, basketball, cricket, golf, rugby, boxing, netball, men’s football and women’s football.
Applications are still open for September 2016. A recruitment event for any students looking to start a football coaching or playing career will take place on Monday September 12 at 2pm at the Academy for Sport. For more information please contact 0191 490 2246 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.gateshead.ac.uk