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FOUNDATION OF LIGHT
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Our Stories: Charlie

Dedicated young footballer Charlie is celebrating after signing with Sunderland AFC’s shadow squads at the Academy of Light.

The 11-year-old was invited to train with Foundation of Light’s Player Development Squads after attending a football camp at Kirkby Stephen Grammar School in April 2017.

Impressing Foundation coaches with his ability and positive attitude, Charlie joined the PDS sessions at Farringdon to further develop his technical, tactical, physical and social skills through a specifically designed game-based coaching programme.

Despite a 140-mile weekly round trip from his home in Appleby-In-Westmorland, Cumbria, he continued to develop as a player, showcasing his dedication, honesty and hard work, progressing into the Player Performance Centre at the Beacon of Light this season.

Charlie’s mother, Diana, said: “The Player Development Programme was a fantastic opportunity for Charlie and to say that he has enjoyed the sessions with the Foundation coaches is an understatement – he’s loved every minute.”

After four months at the Beacon, Charlie was selected to join Sunderland AFC’s shadow squads with a view to signing for the club’s academy sides if he impresses further.

The specialist training with Foundation of Light’s coaches has really developed his game and provided him with the ideal platform to progress with Sunderland AFC’s shadow squads.

We’d like to thank them for all their help.

Diana, Charlie's mother

Jack Gray, Player Development Programme Head Coach, added: “We’re delighted for Charlie to be given the opportunity to train with Sunderland AFC’s shadow squads.

“This achievement is a testament to his hard work, positive attitude and commitment during his time with our Player Development Programme and we wish him all the best for the future.”

All of our football courses run within our Player Progression Pathway, put in place to support the identification, development and progression of players with the potential and aspiration to play for Sunderland AFC’s Academy and Sunderland & Gateshead Girls Regional Talent Club.

4 February 2019

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