High fives for football quintet

Goalkeeper Jordan Nixon, midfielders Luke Carr and Rob Ramshaw, defender Lewis Galpin and sharp-shooting striker Callum Patton have all been taken on by the Skrill Premier League side.

The news is just reward for the quintet, who all completed a one-year NVQ in Sporting Excellence at Gateshead College before moving into full-time employment at the football club.

They combined study at the college’s prestigious Academy of Sport with a rigorous training schedule – and now their dedication has paid off. 

Lewis has already made the Gateshead first team squad on eight occasions and looks destined for a big future at the club.

He said: “Being a footballer has always been my dream and I’m thrilled to have won a contract at Gateshead FC.

“The club is going places and it was great that they allowed me to combine my training with my studies.

“My NVQ has given me a good grounding in sport and fitness and a platform to study for additional qualifications later down the line.”

Lewis was signed from Middlesbrough Football Club, while Luke was plucked straight from Gateshead College. Jordan, Callum and Rob were on the books of Darlington Football Club before teaming up with Gateshead FC. Callum, Lewis and Luke have gone out on loan to Northern League club West Auckland Town to further their development.

Paul Bryson, head coach at Gateshead College’s Academy for Sport, said: “All five students have done remarkably well to win a contract at an up-and-coming North East football club.

“The partnership between the college and Gateshead FC stretches back several years and the facilities that both organisations provide are first class.”

Gateshead College’s Academy for Sport has been used by hundreds of sports students and elite athletes. It is equipped with state-of-the-art sports science and medical facilities, an aerobics studio, outdoor artificial and grass pitches, a dedicated learning resource centre and an 83m athletics hall.  

Anth Smith, Gateshead FC manager, said: “These facilities are brilliant for young athletes who want to make their way in their profession and learn about sports development.

“It has certainly helped these five promising footballers win contracts at Gateshead FC.

“They’ve been rewarded for showing a great attitude and plenty of skill. Now they have a great opportunity to progress their careers at this ambitious, forward-thinking football club.”

Visit www.gateshead.ac.uk for information on courses.