COLLEGE footballers have picked up a kit fit for champions thanks to a new sponsorship deal.

Students on the Martin Gray Football Academy programme delivered with Darlington College will sport the Errea brand in a two-year partnership with Thornaby-based sports clothing specialists Motif8.

In a unique arrangement which blends top quality football coaching with education, students will receive home, away and training kit giving them a taste of the professional game.

Last season they took the AOC Sport Yorkshire Men’s Football Championship after finishing eight points clear.

The team won 13 of its 14 matches, which were played all over the North, from Newcastle to Doncaster, losing just a single game, with players scoring a total of 55 goals and only conceding 17.

Former professional footballer and manager Martin said: “Players should always feel proud to pull on their shirts and having top quality kit instantly gives them a psychological boost. If you feel good you play better and it is really important for them to feel professional from the start.”

Motif8 sports development manager Mark Ellison said: “Appearance is really important in team sports for students and staff alike. It is vital they feel professional and this transfers to learning on the pitch and in the classroom.”

The home strip is red while the away shirts are black and blue. Students also receive shorts, socks, training kit, tracksuits and footballs.

Mark added: “It’s fantastic that the lads won the league last season and we are proud to be behind their new equipment. Errea is great quality kit used by many top teams from an Italian family firm that offers the personal touch from their base in Parma.”

For more information and opportunities at Darlington College visit www.darlington.ac.uk or www.martingrayfootballacademy.co.uk.