North East Connected

Kick-Starting Football Careers across County Durham

A North East firm of elite football coaches is taking to Country Durham to uncover future generations of footballing talent.

Evolution Football Coaching believes the region remains a hotbed for Premier League talent and has joined forces with two County Durham schools to offer youngsters’ specialist coaching, which will not only develop their skills but also boost their education.

The firm is working with Durham Federation, which represents Fyndoune Community College in Sacriston and Durham Community Business College in Ushaw Moor to open two new Football Academies.

“As elite coaches, we want to unearth and develop new talent and prepare them for all the things required of a modern footballer” said Evolution Director, Gary Smith. “But we also want to promote fitness and wellbeing among students. A healthy body equals a healthy mind and good habits adopted at a young age tend to stick with people as they grow”.

Evolution has established itself at the forefront of youth coaching in the region, having created a similar Academy at Kingsmeadow Community School in Gateshead, which will coach 32 Year 7 footballers in September and host the first all-girls academy of its type in the UK.

Its coaches will deliver the same programme for Durham Federation, also starting in September and they are actively recruiting now.

Alison Jobling, Durham Federation head teacher said, “We are extremely excited about this new venture and the launch of our Durham Federation Football Foundation.

“Our students are at the heart of all the decisions that we take and our vision will ensure every individual is able to reach their full potential and have the experience and skills they require to fulfil their dreams”.

Evolution Football Coaching has links with Nike, Kit Locker, Inspire Sports, Middlesbrough FC and England Woman’s player Jill Scott.

Gary added: ‘I was brought up in County Durham and it is fantastic to bring our Football Academies to the area. We have enjoyed huge success in Gateshead with the launch of our first football Scholarship at Kingsmeadow Community School”.

“Durham Federation boasts two great schools that are developing quickly and we are delighted to be part of their future. The idea is to engage young people within education, using my experience working with young people both in football and education. We want to assist in the overall development of the individual and give them an opportunity to progress in the game as a player, coach or other profession”.

The programme is free for all successful applicants and consists of professional coaching embedded within the schools educational curriculum. It engages young people, using football as a driver for academic development, providing young people with the opportunity to excel within education while receiving a football education, including insight into the psychological and physical demands of the present player and the opportunity to represent the academy nationally and internationally.

England Woman’s, Manchester City star and Evolution ambassador, Jill Scott said: Its great to hear that Evolution Football Coaching are opening two new academies. I have worked with them for some time and witnessed how they develop young footballers. The football scholarship programmes are excellent and will benefit keen children in County Durham”.

Labour councillor for Sacriston Heather Liddle said: “When I heard about the new academy programme at Kingsmeadow School and the positive impact it had on pupil attainment and wellbeing, I wanted something similar in my division. This is a great move for Fyndoune School and will assist in the development of the school for years to come”.

Evolution Football Coaching is recruiting for the academies and current Year 6 students are eligible.

Those interested should contact Gary Smith at Evolution Football Coaching on 07967249533 or

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