Gateshead Football Club has signed Gateshead College student, Oli Thompson on a one-year professional contract.
Oli, who has been studying a BTEC in Sports Coaching and Development whilst playing as part of the Gateshead FC Academy enjoyed a standout 2022/23 season. He broke through to the first team in February 2023 and made his senior debut in the FA Trophy quarter-final win over Farsley Celtic in March.
He went on to make his first senior start against Barnet in the semi-final of the FA Trophy, before coming on as a substitute at Wembley Stadium in the club's first-ever FA Trophy final in May 2023.
Commenting on his signing, Oli said: “"It feels unbelievable. I'm over the moon to sign my first professional contract and I'm just ecstatic with it. Over the summer, I'll be training hard in the gym, working on my technique and hopefully once it gets to pre-season I'll be raring to go.”
The academy is a partnership between Gateshead College and Gateshead FC where students play or coach at the football club while studying for nationally recognised qualifications. Over the last few years, the college-football club partnership has produced some notable success stories. Former Heed player Jon Mellish is currently playing for Carlisle United whilst Tom White previously played for Blackburn. In addition, Elliot Forbes and Connor Pani played in Gateshead’s first team during the 2022/23 season.
John Deary, Assistant Principal at the college said “It’s fantastic to see Oli signing his first professional contract with Gateshead Football Club. He’s an extremely talented player and all his hard work has paid off, he really deserves to be given a professional contract.
“Oli’s signing builds on our strong academy partnership with the club and shows the academy structure is working and we are coaching and training young talent to progress into the first team.”Wed Feb 28 2024