South Shields Academy winger Will McCamley has capped off a terrific two seasons with the club after agreeing a deal with Huddersfield Town.
McCamley, who has just completed his two-year programme in the club’s academy, has signed a long-term contract with the Terriers, who will play in the Championship next season following their relegation from the Premier League.
As part of the deal, a Huddersfield development side will visit Mariners Park for a friendly on Wednesday, July 17.
In a clear example of the pathways offered by the club’s academy programme, McCamley was scouted extensively by a number of clubs this season before taking part in a trial with Huddersfield.
It proved to be a successful one, and the 18-year-old is now ready to make the move to Yorkshire as he links up with the club’s Under-19s set-up.
South Shields joint manager Graham Fenton said: “Everyone at the club wishes Will all the best at Huddersfield Town.
“We sincerely hope it works out for him and he becomes a professional footballer in Huddersfield’s first team.
“Will has done exceptionally well for the club in the two years he has been with us and thoroughly deserves this chance.
“It’s now up to him to go and grab this opportunity with both hands and make the most of it.
“Hopefully this gives the other academy lads an incentive to show what can be achieved in a short period of time.
“We’re looking to produce players through the academy into our first team but if players get these opportunities, we’re not going to stand in anyone’s way of trying to realise an opportunity at the highest level.”
McCamley joined Shields in the summer of 2017 after the club’s academy was set up.
He impressed in the FA Youth Cup for the young Mariners in each of the last two seasons, and caught the eye of a number of clubs, including Huddersfield.
The teenager was supported during his time at Shields by Catalyst4 PSM, having earlier played for Monkseaton Under-16s, the club which first set him on his way.
He subsequently also played for New Hartley Juniors, while continuing to develop under the tutelage of Lee Picton and Graham Fenton at South Shields both in the academy and through training sessions with the first-team, while studying at Sunderland College.
The club, Catalyst and the college supported him through the trial process, and all parties would like to wish Will all the very best for the future.
The club would also like to thank Catalyst4 PSM and Sunderland College for their continued support.
For more information about SSFC Academy, please email Academy@southshieldsfc.co.uk
A late Will McCamley penalty steered South Shields Academy into their first national cup final as they secured a hard-fought win over Maidstone United at Mariners Park.
The young Mariners enjoyed the majority of the possession and chances in the National League Alliance Under-19 League Cup semi-final, but had to wait until the 87th minute to make their breakthrough.
McCamley was coolness personified from the spot as Shields set up a final with Basford United.
The game was played in a strong wind and Shields had it with them in the first half.
They created numerous opportunities but were unable to find a way past Maidstone goalkeeper Ethan Collen.
Collen denied Ethan Biwer early on and Shields went close again when a McCamley cross held in the air and just cleared the crossbar.
The young Mariners’ best chance of the first half fell to Max Cowburn after some superb work from David Allasan on the left of the box, but after the ball was fired across the area, Cowburn was unable to convert from close range.
Maidstone created an opportunity of their own as a through ball played in Ollie Aston, but he fired over.
That was a rare opportunity for the visitors, and Shields will have been disappointed not to go in ahead at half-time as McCamley hit one just wide, Allasan had an effort deflected past the post and Cowburn blasted a shot not far wide from distance.
Shields were playing against the wind in the second half and took some time to adapt.
Eventually, they took control again and almost took the lead when McCamley brilliantly set up Callum Guy, but he struck the post.
McCamley also went close as he fired into the side netting from a Cowburn corner, before Shields brought on Sam Hodgson and Dom Minchella as they shook things up at the top of the pitch.
They almost broke the deadlock with 14 minutes left when Guy worked some space for himself before hitting a low effort which Collen got down well to tip wide.
Direct play by Minchella down the right looked like it might reap dividends when he pulled the ball across the area, but some brave defending denied Hodgson a tap-in.
Shields were almost made to pay for their missed chances as Matt Weller aimed for goal from the edge of the box, but the ball bounced just wide as the hosts breathed a sigh of relief.
The Mariners had to show patience for their breakthrough, and it finally arrived with three minutes left.
Minchella was fouled in the box and McCamley made no mistake from the spot as he sent his penalty down the middle.
Shields saw the game out well to secure their place in the final.
SSFC Academy team to play Maidstone United: Armstrong, Yembe, Lockey, Thompson, Patterson, Bexton (c), McCamley, Biwer, Cowburn (Hodgson 69), Guy (Black 90+1), Allasan (Minchella 65). Subs not used: Errington, Croft.
Goal: McCamley (pen 87).
Goalkeepers took centre stage as SSFC Academy secured a dramatic double win on a packed day of action on Wednesday.
The young Mariners thrashed Frickley Athletic 7-1 in the National League Under-19 Alliance to move up to third in the table, with goalkeeper Jacob Bramley among the goalscorers. There was also a hat-trick for Max Cowburn while Callum Guy netted twice and Tom Green scored the other.
The club’s academy squad was split in two for the afternoon, with the rest of the players taking on Ralph Thoresby School in the ECFA National play-offs.
Will McCamley gave Shields a 1-0 lead late in the match but the young Mariners were pegged back late on.
Extra-time yielded no further goals but Shields went on to win a dramatic penalty shoot-out, with goalkeeper Aaron Steavens shining as he made three saves from the spot to seal a 5-4 victory as he helped his side into the national quarter-finals.
Head of youth performance and development Jamie Williams said: “The first half was very scrappy, with not a great deal of chances for either side, and the second half was similar until Will McCamley scored after a fine through ball from Michael Colquhoun 12 minutes from the end.
“We tried to see the game out but gave away a free-kick with three minutes to go and they scored directly from it.
“They had the more clear-cut chances in extra-time but it went to penalties and Aaron pulled off some great saves to help us over the line.”
The young Mariners qualified for the ECFA National play-offs by finishing as runners-up to Monkseaton High School in their group.
They thought they had won the group after beating Tyne Met College a fortnight ago, having finished on the same number of points as Monkseaton at the top and with a better goal difference.
Both sides were initially unaware, though, that when teams in the ECFA League finish level on points, it is decided initially on head-to-head record, meaning Monkseaton pipped Shields to first place. Both sides qualified for the play-offs and both are now into the quarter-finals.
SSFC Academy team against Ralph Thoresby School: Steavens, Yembe, Lockey, Carney, Patterson, Onarbay, S Black, Dunn, Colquhoun, Duncan, McCamley. Subs: Croft, Scott.
Williams and Lee Picton took charge of the academy’s game at Ralph Thoresby, with Graham Fenton and Wess Brown overseeing the win over Frickley.
Cowburn and Guy scored five goals between them as Shields established a 5-0 lead, with Green making it six.
Frickley pulled one goal back before Shields were forced to push Bramley up-front after an injury to Arron Thompson, with no more outfield substitutes available.
Bramley delighted all those of a claret and blue persuasion by scoring – with Fenton declaring it was the ‘kind of moment you’re in football for’.
Fenton said: “It was a really strong performance from the lads.
“We generally moved the ball very well and scored some decent goals, while also missing some good opportunities as well.
“We need to work on our game management a bit, but that’s understandable when they’re at this age.
“We were looking for more goals at 5-0 up which was fine, but we didn’t keep the back door shut well enough.
“It should be a really good learning curve for the lads into how to see a game out properly in terms of controlling it.
“There were lots of good performances from the likes of Arron Thompson, Callum Guy, Michael Colquhoun and Tom Green, who made a really positive impact from the bench.
“To top it all off, Jacob Bramley scored the seventh goal and the lads were buzzing for him.
“It was one of those moments that you’re involved in football for.
“He scored with his first chance and could have scored another.
“The video analysis work we did earlier in the week clearly rubbed off on Jacob because he looked like Romelu Lukaku with his movement!”
SSFC Academy team against Frickley Athletic: Bramley, Morris, Allen, Thompson, Errington, Bexton, Junior, Biwer, Cowburn, Guy, Allasan. Subs: Armstrong, L Black, Green.