Ursene Mouanda has joined Blyth Spartans on loan for the entirety of the 2019-20 season.

Mouanda, who signed for South Shields a year ago, made 26 appearances last term.

The midfielder will now be given the opportunity to continue his footballing education with Lee Clark’s National League North side.

South Shields joint manager Lee Picton said: “This is a brilliant opportunity for Ursene to get some much-needed experience and game-time at a very good level.

“We will be monitoring his progress throughout the season and he remains very much a South Shields player who we rate very highly.

“We look forward to seeing his development and wish him all the best for his time with Blyth Spartans.”

South Shields players Blair Adams, Daniel Wright and Ursene Mouanda went back to school on Monday as they launched a new programme which will see the club engage more with its youngest supporters.

The trio were joined by SSFC Foundation manager Steve Camm as they visited Westoe Crown Primary School to answer questions from pupils and hand out tickets for Saturday’s game against Mickleover Sports at Mariners Park.

They also presented the school with a signed home shirt which will either be put on display at Westoe Crown or be auctioned to raise school funds.

This was the club’s first school visit and was a particularly poignant one, as avid Shields supporter Jak Fada – who tragically died a year ago at the age of 10 – attended Westoe Crown.

About 180 Year 5 and Year 6 pupils talked with the players for almost an hour as they asked a wide range of questions.

Blair said: “There were some interesting questions and some you really had to think about.

“We covered all areas, from what we’d want to do if we weren’t footballers to the best teams we’ve played against.

“It’s always good to go into places like that and for the children to be able to speak with us.

“We want to try to build our fanbase.

“We all know the targets the club has over the next few years.

“We want to keep pushing up the leagues, and coming in to see the children is the start of us trying to grow our fanbase.”

Each Year 5 and Year 6 pupil at the school received a free ticket for Saturday’s match against Mickleover, as well as one for a parent or guardian.

They have all been invited to take part in the club’s Matchday Play Park, which takes place on the 3G pitch at 1.30pm on the day of each Saturday home game, while 10 of them will walk onto the pitch with the teams ahead of the match and five of them will take part in a literacy project with The Word, National Centre for the Written Word, based on their matchday experience.

Daniel Wright said: “We came along to hand out tickets and talk to the pupils, because it would be great to have a lot more younger people at the games.

“Hopefully it will boost our crowds on Saturdays.

“There were some funny questions which got you thinking and we all really enjoyed it.

“It’s important we get more and more younger fans at the games, because it will build our crowds massively.”

Ursene said: “We came in to have a little talk to the children and try to encourage them to come along to our games.

“I really enjoyed it.

“A lot of the kids were quite sharp and funny, and there were some very good questions.

“I’ve not been in a primary school since I left, so it was good to go back to one and it brought back a lot of memories.

“It’s really important we put on a good performance on Saturday so the children have a good experience and want to come back week after week.”

The club’s second school visit will see them go to St Bede’s RC Primary and Nursery School on Wednesday.

Picture caption: Players Ursene Mouanda, Daniel Wright and Blair Adams present a signed South Shields shirt to Westoe Crown football team captains Jay Brown and Lillie Oliphant, along with PE co-ordinator and Year 6 teacher Kate Bramley.

Meet our first Project EFL ambassadors – coming to a school near you soon!

First-team players Carl Finnigan, Blair Adams, Ursene Mouanda and Daniel Wright are to help lead a new programme which will see the club visit schools across the borough on a regular basis.

Our aim is to be a community-based, sustainable Football League-ready club by 2023.

It’s an ambitious target encapsulated by Project EFL, which we are hoping the community will get behind in the weeks, months and years ahead.

At the centre of our ambitions is our fanbase, which we are hoping to grow by forging partnerships with schools.

We are on the lookout for our fans of the future and are currently focusing on the ‘class of 2023’.

The club will soon be visiting primary schools across South Tyneside, and during our visits the players will hand out free match tickets to pupils in Year 5 and Year 6, who will be of age to be our 12th man by the time we are hopefully Football League-ready in 2023.

The schools programme is being led by the club in conjunction with our charitable foundation, and will be launched on Monday, November 12 when we visit Westoe Crown Primary School, before we visit St Bede’s RC Primary and Nursery School two days later.

The club is also pleased to announce an exciting partnership with The Word, National Centre for the Written Word, which is based in Market Place, South Shields.

The two organisations are set to work together to introduce a literacy project for young people based on a matchday experience.

Of those Year 5 and Year 6 pupils who receive free match tickets, each school will select 10 children to form a guard of honour for the two teams on matchday.

Five of those 10 will be chosen to take part in a media workshop delivered by The Word, where they will record and capture their matchday experience.

South Shields FC Foundation Manager Steve Camm said: “We are all really excited about the opportunity to grow the work we do in schools.

“It’s great as a club for us to be able to put something back into our community, in fact it’s one of the underlying principles behind both Project EFL and the Foundation.

“The Word is an amazing facility and we are delighted to have been able to put something together collectively that will create not only a fantastic matchday experience but also a great learning opportunity for young people.”

Tania Robinson, Head of Marketing and Culture at The Word, National Centre for the Written Word, said: “We are delighted to be working with South Shields Football Club as we are always looking for new ways to celebrate the written word.

“This project, which gives young fans and their families the chance to commentate on the match, write a report and then film in The Word’s media studio, is part of our wider programme of work, sponsored by Mirabaud, to engage with young people in the borough.

“Football commentaries and reports bring matches to life for those who weren’t lucky enough to be there – they tell a story and that’s what we celebrate at The Word.

“We are very much looking forward to welcoming the fans and their families and showing them the varied and fascinating facilities The Word has to offer.”

All children who receive free match tickets will also be given the opportunity to take part in the club’s Matchday Play Park – a supervised football session – which takes place between 1.30pm and 2.30pm on the day of every Saturday match at Mariners Park.