Blyth Spartans and Tyne Metropolitan College are on the lookout for the next generation of talent to represent the club next season.
The partnership programme sees students represent Spartans, either at under-18 or under-19 level, while undertaking a vocational course at Tyne Met College.
The programme is flexible, and allows students to either study the dedicated Football Excellence Programme aimed for those wanting to pursue a career in sport, or any other of the huge range of courses on offer.
Speaking about the course, Tyne Met Head Coach Marc Nash said, “The idea is that they come in and study for 2 years, while they play for the 18s, then a standalone one year course when they pay for the 19s. The courses can vary, it can be sport, construction, engineering, whatever it may be, as long as – and this is the important bit – the students come out with something as well getting a good experience football-wise.”
Here is a summary of some of the benefits to the course:
- Develop your sporting passion alongside academic success
- Up to 10 hours training and competitive matches each week
- Train like a professional with personalised programmes delivered by expert coaches
- Individually tailored strength and conditioning programmes
This year the programme has seen huge success. A Football Excellence side, led by Nash, represented Blyth Spartans under-18s in the FA Youth Cup where they made club history by reaching the First Round Proper.
Many of those students later featured in the under-19s, led by current Spartans player JJ O’Donnell, where they have competed in the National Youth Alliance against the youth sides of full-time clubs such as Notts County.
Furthermore, the captain of the FA Youth Cup side, Matty Dopson, was rewarded with a call-up to England Under-18 Schoolboys earlier this year and is currently competing in the Centenary Shield. The full-back has also been included in the Spartans first-team squad for the remainder of the season.
Nash added, “I think that the cup-run inspired everyone and captured everyone’s imagination. Blyth Spartans has fantastic history, but at youth level it’s not that well known. But it’s starting to get established now, and players are coming at our college because they want to play at Blyth Spartans. It’s a two way thing, so they’re studying courses then playing at a really high level on a Wednesday.
Staying on in education and furthering themselves is generally what it’s about now. So these guys will finish their course and move on, go on to degrees, or jobs or even to the US on scholarships. There’s plenty of options for them, this is a great stepping stone for them.”
You can apply, or enquire for further information via Tyne Met’s website, here.