19 April 2018
More than 70 youngsters took to the pitches at the Academy of Light in the hope of securing a place on one of the country’s best football and education programmes.
Players from across the North East attended Foundation of Light’s Football Scholarship Open Trials on Friday 13th April as the charity looks to sign up its next cohort of learners for the 2018-19 season.
Some of the region’s most promising female footballers were put through their paces during the morning session in a circuit of training and fitness drills and matches alongside some of the NFYL U19 Ladies Cup winning team.
We are absolutely delighted with the turnout for the trials. The standard has been amazing and having some of our current Ladies Scholars join in the sessions has helped our trialists raise their game to the next level.
We’ve identified some good players who will help make the programme stronger and more successful next season.
Moving into the Academy’s state-of-the-art indoor barn for the afternoon session, it was the male trialists’ turn to showcase their skills in front of the Scholarship coaches and Sunderland AFC recruitment staff.
Jamie Chandler, Monkwearmouth Midlands Scholarship Coach, added: “The Academy of Light is a fantastic environment for our players to be in.
“I agree with Steve; the standard has been first class. We’re over the moon to have so many keen and talented footballers come in and we’re very excited about what that will bring.
“To have Sunderland AFC allow us to use their facilities [at the Academy] is brilliant for us.”
The Foundation will be holding further trials next month at the Beacon of Light, a world-class addition to the region’s sporting facilities, taking advantage of the venue’s 4G rooftop barn and outdoor 3G pitches.
“We’ve got some exciting plans in May at the Beacon of Light which, like the Academy, is a world-class environment for players to be learning their trade in,” said Jamie. “We’re going to hold Open Trials there as well as a tournament with some talented teams.
“We’ll have another watchful eye on that and will continue the success and growth of the Scholarship programme.”
If successful, the trialists will represent Sunderland AFC against the likes of Aston Villa, Burnley, Chelsea, Everton, Derby County, Newcastle United and West Brom alongside studying towards nationally recognised qualifications.