Student signs new contract with Gateshead Football Club

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Photo courtesy of Charlie Waugh

Former student Elliot Forbes has signed a new contract with National League North club, Gateshead FC

The 21 year-old midfielder has agreed a new one-year deal with the club. He first signed for them in the summer of 2018 after completing a two-year BTEC in sports science at Gateshead College before securing a place on the Gateshead FC Academy programme.

The academy allows students to play or coach at the football club whilst studying for nationally recognised qualifications at the college. Elliot believes the programme provided him with the perfect platform for his playing career.

“The academy programme was invaluable. It gave me my first glimpse into professional football and what I needed to do to progress. The training sessions were sharp and intense and I learned so much from the coaches. However, the college work was just as important, if not more so, because it gave you a back-up plan if things didn’t go the right way with your playing career, which is essential.

“My advice for anyone joining the academy is apply yourself, work hard and really stick in with the college work. You will definitely have a chance if you’re committed and focused on getting your qualifications as well as developing your skills as a footballer.”

Former Newcastle United player and South African international Matty Pattison coaches the academy team, working alongside Gateshead FC legend Ben Clark. As the former Under-19s manager, Ben has been a key figure in Elliot’s development.

Elliot said ““Clarky has really helped me throughout my career. He constantly reiterated just how important the college work is, and that it was potentially more important that the football. He also stressed that we had to have a backup plan, and I think that resonated with the lads. Any player joining the academy programme should follow that advice.”

Elliot is one of a number of graduates of the academy that have gone on to play for Gateshead FC’s first team. Defender Jon Mellish and midfielder Tom White both played for the club before joining Football League clubs Carlisle United and Blackburn Rovers respectively.

This will be Elliot’s third consecutive season at Gateshead FC, who has also spent time on loan with Northern League club Newcastle Benfield.

Mon Oct 25 2021