Sunderland College student-athlete Alfie Marriott has become the latest South Shields FC Academy prospect to sign a professional contract with the club.
Alfie, who recently turned 18, made his first-team debut earlier this season after impressing for the Under-18s team which reached the first round of the FA Youth Cup.
The Sports Coaching and Developments student follows in the footsteps of academy graduates Will Jenkins, Joao Gomes and Sam Hodgson who have all committed their futures to the Mariners in recent years.
After putting pen to paper on a long-term deal, Alfie moved to Shildon AFC on a youth loan to continue his development and gain experience while he also completes his studies at the college’s Bede Campus.
He said: “I am over the moon to have been given the opportunity to sign a professional deal with South Shields FC. I’ve worked hard through the academy to push on into the first team. Also applying myself with my education has really put me in the best position to achieve this.
“Sunderland College and my lecturers have been very supportive; they collaborate extremely well with South Shields FC through the academy and my course is excellent.”
The young defender will hope to make his debut this Saturday when Shildon AFC host Brighouse Town in the Northern Premier League East.
South Shields FC manager, Kevin Phillips, added: “We’re delighted to have Alfie on board.
“He has hugely impressed us when he has trained with the first team, and he is certainly one for the future.
“We feel we have a real talent on our hands, and he is definitely a player we believe will be challenging strongly for a place in the squad and starting 11 in the future.”
South Shields FC Academy was formed in May 2017 when South Shields FC and Sunderland College partnered to create a programme to develop the best young footballing talent in the North East.
Student-athletes combine a full-time football development programme, delivered by a high-quality team of coaches, with their choice of full-time qualifications including A-Levels, T Levels and vocational courses.
Academy players develop their industry skills in state-of-the-art facilities at both Bede Campus’ multi-million-pound Sports Academy and 1st Cloud Arena, while also receiving a range of benefits such as strength and conditioning coaching delivered by Martin Nugent, access to physiotherapy and rehabilitation programmes, video performance analysis, nutritional advice, athlete screening and training kit.
The games programme is also supplemented by many professional youth team fixtures throughout the season in order to fully test and develop players, and hopefully prepare them for first-team football at South Shields FC.
Michele Di Mascio, Sports Academies and Partnership Manager at Sunderland College, said: “Everyone at Sunderland College is absolutely delighted that Alfie has managed to get both a long-term professional contract as well as gain great experience on loan at Shildon AFC. His performances this season and the potential he has is obvious and it is great to see that he has been rewarded for this.
“Alfie’s professional contract is evidence of how South Shields FC works with their Academy programme and provide a pathway to their first team.”
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