Graham Fenton declared himself delighted with the progress of South Shields’ academy players after two more impressive victories were delivered on Wednesday.
While one team defeated Eccleshill United 5-0 in the National League Under-19 Alliance, another young Mariners side beat Gateshead College 1-0 in the ECFA Premier League.
Fenton and fellow joint manager Lee Picton split responsibilities on the day, with Fenton overseeing the win over Gateshead College and Picton steering Shields to victory at Eccleshill alongside head of youth performance and development Jamie Williams.
The win against Gateshead was sealed thanks to a second half goal from Stevie Black, and Fenton was pleased with the performance against the league leaders.
He said: “We controlled the game, particularly in the first half.
“In the second half they played a high press, and we managed to open them up three or four times.
“Stevie Black showed great composure to win us the three points in the end.
“He burst into the box and shaped to shoot, sent two people to the floor and finished well.
“It was a really, really good finish.
“We dominated the majority of the game and fortunately produced the one bit of quality in the game.
“It was great for our teams to record two wins on the day to continue our good form, and it’s really nice to see the way the players are progressing.”
The game was notable in that it marked a first involvement with the academy for goalkeeper Aaron Steavens, who played against the club’s first-team in the Durham Challenge Cup for Chester-le-Street Town in December.
Meanwhile, Max Cowburn and Junior Marcelino both scored twice in a 5-0 win at Eccleshill in the National League Under-19 Alliance, with Will McCamley also on the scoresheet.
The victory was secured in difficult circumstances after the young Mariners lost two of their back four to injuries within the first 10 minutes, with Harrison Devine and Tom Bexton both forced off.
A reshuffle saw Olly Scott moved to left-back and Arron Thompson into an unfamiliar central defence position, but he excelled and turned in a man of the match display.
Williams was pleased with the display against an Eccleshill side which was reduced to 10 players late on.
He said: “The first half was very competitive against a physically capable side, and there were no goals before half-time.
“Losing two of our backline in the first 10 minutes didn’t help, but Arron did superbly well at the back and was probably the best player on the pitch on the day.
“We were restricted to just a few half chances in the first half. The best of them was a free-kick from Max which hit the post.
“In the second half we showed a lot more character and Will McCamley scored early before we went on to control the game from there.
“We produced some real good play in the second half and deserved the victory.”
South Shields’ Jamie Williams has been recognised for his outstanding work with a regional award.
Jamie, the club’s head of youth performance and development, has been handed Durham FA’s Respect Award for the positive difference he has made in grassroots football.
The award was given to Jamie as a result of his work with the SSFC Foundation.
He has since moved on to concentrate fully on the club’s Academy, mainly focusing on the Future’s Academy run in conjunction with Mortimer Community College.
Jamie was modest after collecting his award.
He said: “We’ve done some really good things as a club over the last few years, and I’ve been lucky enough to be involved in it.
“We’ve been quite innovative with some of our ideas, and always put children at the centre of everything we do, which is very important.
“This is an award for the Foundation.
“I felt quite embarrassed to get it.
“There are a lot of very committed and talented volunteers and coaches involved in junior football across the country, and to be picked out is a strange feeling.
“If the FA had 1,000 of these awards to hand out, I’m sure they could find 1,000 deserving recipients.”
The FA teamed up with McDonald’s to launch the Grassroots Football Awards, aimed towards people who make a positive difference in the game and celebrating their fantastic work.
The awards aim to recognise those who represent the FA’s PRIDE values:
Progressive: Reaching for improvement and innovation
Respectful: Leading by example, inspiring positive behaviour in others
Inclusive: Uniting people of any age, ethnicity and from any background
Determination: Rising to and overcoming challenges
Excellent: Striving to make football the best it can be
Jamie joined South Shields in March 2017 and has become a pivotal part of the club.
He added: “I have introduced what I would class as common-sense practice delivered consistently.
“That starts with putting children at the centre of everything around decisions, and programmes designed around children.
“It’s children first, football second.
“It’s nice to win an award, but I’m genuinely pretty embarrassed and don’t feel any more deserving to have it than anyone else.”
Jamie – you’re too modest!
Thanks for your continued outstanding work and congratulations on your award.
The club is delighted to announce the appointment of Jamie Williams as Head of Coach and Young Player Development.
Jamie is to lead the club’s team of coaches, at all junior levels, and design, develop and help deliver an SSFC coaching programme appropriate to the various age groups.
Over the past 12 years, Jamie has gained a broad knowledge of player development and experience that stretches from grassroots to the professional game.
His background includes full-time coaching positions at The Football Association, Newcastle United’s academy and Sunderland AFC’s academy, as well as invaluable experience contributing as a grassroots volunteer.
Jamie has also spent a number of short spells coaching and supporting coach development overseas, most notably in Canada and China.
Throughout 2015 he contributed to the creation of The FA’s existing national framework, the England DNA, marking a pathway for future England player development.
After 10 years working as a full-time practitioner he embarked on a Masters degree in Sport Coaching, and hopes to apply emerging new ideas and best practice to enhance the playing and learning experience of everyone involved at the club.
Jamie said: “Over the course of my career I have tried to deliver and constantly evolve modern coaching practice and philosophy.
“I have approached each of my coaching roles with an open mind, always leaving room for innovation to help move my own coaching practice forward, and in so doing aim to positively influence the behaviours and thinking of players, coaches and other key stakeholders.
“I look forward to sharing a similar approach with players and colleagues in my new role at South Shields FC.”
South Shields FC Managing Director Michael Orr said: “We are delighted to have secured the services of Jamie, who is well respected within the game and arrives highly recommended.
“Jamie will lead and represent the team of coaches and volunteers contributing towards South Shields FC’s vision for the future.
“In particular he will design, develop and support the delivery of a bespoke SSFC coaching programme appropriate to the various ages and stages of development of all participating players.
“He will also be responsible for the initiation of a coach development programme to provide extended opportunities to seek new knowledge and understanding for our committed team of coaches.
“Jamie has already met with the vast majority of the junior coaches and I am pleased to say everyone is extremely excited and motivated by his appointment.”