SCHOOL children in Peterlee will get the chance to be coached by former Sunderland star Stephen Elliott with the opening of a new elite football academy at St Bede’s Comprehensive School later this year.
The former striker, whose goals helped fire the Black Cats into the Premier League in the 2004-05 season has taken on the role of lead coach at the new Improtech Soccer academy which will be launched at the school next term.
And that will be great news for talented young players in Peterlee and East Durham who will get expert coaching in school time as they pursue dreams of becoming professional footballers.
The new centre will join other centres of excellence at Kepier Academy, Houghton, English Martyrs School, Hartlepool and Sunderland College.
Improtech’s Martin Scott said: “We’re thrilled to be at St Bede’s and a part of the world well-known for being a hotbed of football talent.
“We’re starting late in the day this year, with the window very narrow for recruitment for September 2018 but in the next few years we plan to make St Bedes as successful as our other centres are.
New coach Stephen Elliott said: “I’m delighted that from September I’ll be coaching young players of real ability who I’ll be able to pass on my skills and knowledge to within a school environment.
“I’m really looking forward to it.
“I had a great time as a footballer at Sunderland Football Club and I’d love to think that a few Improtech players from St Bedes might follow me on to professional clubs in the years ahead.”
Mark Price, head of school at St Bedes, said: “This is a really exciting venture for the school.
“We loved the fact that not only are we getting the best football coaching provider but that this is something which is healthy and enjoyable for the school children to be involved in.”
Mr Price stressed that although St Bedes is a Catholic school, the school and the new Football Academy, is open to children of all faiths and religions.
Recruitment and open trials for players in current Year Six who go into Year Seven in September is ongoing.
And anyone interested in attending sessions or wanting more information, should contact Simon Robson on 07717 707 952 or Steve Golightly on 07500 690 584, or email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.