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Open Trials to represent Newcastle United Foundation nationally with Men’s Football and Education Programme

Opportunities are open for young footballers to represent Newcastle United Foundation in a national league while gaining a BTEC Diploma in Sport and other qualifications.

Partnered with Newcastle College and the National Football Youth League, talented players aged 16 to 18 can combine academic studies with practical football experience to bridge the gap between grassroots and academy football.

The Foundation’s team of UEFA A to B licensed coaches are preparing for Open Trials this Easter, scouting for the next intake of the Men’s Football and Education Post-16 Development Programme.

Nathan is one player who made the move from youth leagues to don the iconic black and white stripes of Newcastle United and represent the Foundation at clubs across the country.

“The quality of the football is the highest possible outside of academy football,” said Nathan. “You are challenged as a player and I certainly have become a better person overall because of the programme.

“I first got involved with the Foundation in 2019 through playing matches with the team in the aim to start to build a squad of players for the upcoming year of football and college.

“We got to play against teams from Sweden in friendlies and other county teams to help to strengthen the squad’s bond and bring new people in.”

The 18-year-old from Cramlington was introduced to the programme that combines sports and studying by the Foundation’s experienced coaching team, led by Head Coach Terry Mitchell.

With four training sessions per week at Kirkley Park, including weekly fixtures, Nathan excelled on the pitch and in the classroom – combining a coaching syllabus mirroring that of the Newcastle United Academy and his studies towards a Level 3 Diploma in Sport with Newcastle College.

Nathan said: “I think the most exciting part about being involved with the Foundation is being able to represent and wear the Newcastle shirt and travel around the country to play other teams.

“I have developed as a person through gaining better communication skills from meeting lots of new people that I see every day as part of the course.

“I have been able to trial for a national team through developing as a player and I even had the opportunity to play at St. George’s Park as part of that trial – I would never have had that opportunity without the Foundation.

“The people at the Foundation have been a massive help to me because they take their own time to help you out and make it easy to understand.

“They encourage you a lot and it becomes much easier to try harder when you are surrounded by people with such a positive energy at the Foundation.”

Tuition is free as part of the programme and delivered by Newcastle College in partnership with the Foundation, providing a pathway to further education or a career in coaching, sports science, teaching and more.

Extra benefits include access to the College’s facilities and state-of-the-art gym, as well as additional training opportunities at official Newcastle United venues and player support through strength and conditioning, performance and video analysis, nutrition and physiotherapy.

Nathan added: “I am very optimistic about what my future holds, which is why I have chosen to stay on with the college to do a degree, meaning I can continue to be a part of the Foundation for a few more years.

“I think the support they provide me is some of the best support that you will be offered – they have helped me improve myself as a person in normal life and they have also helped me become a much better footballer.”

  • Open Trials for the Men’s Football and Education Post-16 Programme will be held between 10am and 12pm on Thursday, April 8, 2021, at Kirkley Park (Wallsend Boys’ Club, NE28 8SX) for players aged 16 to 18
  • To apply for a trial, download an application form by clicking here or contact Head Coach Terry Mitchell by calling 07583978079

In line with current Government guidance, the Foundation has Covid-19 safety measures in place and requires all players to arrive fully ready to play, wearing suitable boots for a grass pitch as no changing facilities will be available on site.

All players should arrive with their own drinks to stay hydrated during the session.

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