Scholarship Programme – Open Night

Following the recent announcement, The Development Centre is holding a special open evening at Dean Street, Shildon AFC on Tuesday, March 29th 6pm, for potential players to find out more about the Scholarship Programme.
Shildon AFC are  delighted to support Sunderland AFC in creating a football academy based at Shildon AFC . We are a community focused football club and our partnership with the Foundation of Light is so important to realising not only our ambitions but more importantly those of the kids who will join our academy.
Sunderland AFC charity Foundation of Light are recruiting for the ‘Football Scholarship Programme’ commencing in September 2016 and will be holding open trials for promising young players.
We are delighted to be associated with a programme which will help young people become involved in sport, not only on a recreational basis but hopefully leading to employment or further study within the sports profession.
Foundation of Light’s community outreach programmes are second to none and we must continue to use the expertise within the local community to provide the best opportunities for our young students of today.

– Ged McNamee, Academy Manager at Sunderland AFC


The programme combines academic studies with high level football coaching and the opportunity to represent the Black Cats in the National U19s Football Development League against high level opposition including Liverpool, Chelsea and Tottenham.
Whilst on the Football Scholarship Programme participants will undertake the nationally recognised BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma in Sport and Physical Activity Development qualification (the equivalent of three A-levels) which can lead into further education, universities and employment.
The two year, full-time programme is free for 16-19 years olds with centres running in Sunderland and Shildon, South Durham.
Martin’s previous successes include: helping players progress into professional teams in England and abroad; seeing one player appear in the England U18s; and 80% of players progress into University.
Martin adds: “Being the only organisation in the North East to offer this opportunity we expect the quality of players on the programme to be high and we’re very excited about meeting those interested.”
For players who are currently studying in Year 11 and 12 it will give them an insight into the course and opportunity to see course programme and content.