Foundation of Light’s Shildon Scholars forward Dane Eltringham has won the Golden Boot after finishing the season as the NFYL U19 Midlands/North Division top scorer.
The 17-year-old fired a remarkable 37 goals including seven in an 11-1 win at Shrewsbury Town as his side claimed a top four spot in their first season.
Heading into the final game of the season, Dane claimed a hat-trick against Coventry City (WAR) to finish five goals clear of the Sky Blues’ Scott Hammond and fourth in the overall NFYL scoring charts.
“I was relieved when I was finally named top scorer knowing there were players close behind who could catch me,” said Dane. “When it was confirmed it felt really good especially as I’m only 17 and playing in an Under 19s league.
“My favourite goal throughout the season was against Coventry (HEN) where I hit a volley into the top corner from the edge of the box in the 90th minute to win the game.
“I was ecstatic with all my team-mates celebrating with me – I just felt on top of the world.”
Despite the individual achievement, Dane has paid tribute to his team-mates for their support throughout the season but is already looking ahead to winning silverware with Shildon Scholars retaining the Golden Boot next year.
He added: “I would just like to thank all of my teammates providing the chances to actually put the ball in the back of the net; I am so grateful for that.
I would obviously love to win this award for the second time, hopefully push myself to score more goals and be overall goal scorer in all of the leagues.
We’ve had some great moments as a team especially the winning streak we hit in the final few months of the season. However, there has been moments where we went through sticky patches but I feel we can be proud of ourselves.
“I think the team next year will finish higher than fourth and we’ll be pushing to try and win the league as well as one of the cups.”
During his time on the Football Scholarship, which gives youngsters aged 16-18 the opportunity to represent Sunderland AFC while gaining nationally recognised qualifications, Dane feels he has grown as a player and a person.
Dane said: “The football side of the Scholarship has been fantastic for myself and with training every day with the Foundation’s coaches during the week has improved me greatly.
“I also play for Brandon United in the Northern League and for Ferryhill Celtic in the Durham District League and I feel the Scholarship has helped me reach a higher standard.
“With all the expert teaching you receive while studying the education side I have more knowledge of football and other sports away from the pitch.
“It feels good representing Sunderland AFC – one of the biggest clubs in the country – in a national league. We are given the opportunity to travel the country and when we played in London we watched England play at Wembley which was an unreal experience.”
Foundation of Light is launching an education and training base at Hermitage Academy, Chester-le-Street from September.
School leavers who are interested in joining the programme can contact Kayleigh Coates firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0191 5515191 to register.
7 June 2017