SSFC Foundation is delighted to announce the creation of its first job with the appointment of Zak Turner-Cooke, 18, who will work as an apprentice for the next 15 months. 

Zak is no stranger to the Foundation, having regularly delivered holiday courses as a volunteer coach.

When the opportunity came about to create an apprenticeship, he was an obvious choice.

We hope to support him to grow as a coach and improve his long-term employability prospects.

Zak’s apprenticeship is delivered in partnership with Gateshead Council and will hopefully be available in the future as a pathway for more of our young coaching wizards.

His role will mostly be around the delivery of coaching for Foundation players and helping our volunteer coaches to develop and improve their coaching programmes and practice, especially across the younger aged teams.

He’ll also be shadowing coaches Jamie Williams and Wess Brown at the Mortimer Futures Academy and will act as a link between current Academy players and our Under-12 Foundation teams.

South Shields FC Foundation manager Steve Camm said: “Zak has already made his mark and is a hit with our Under-7 players and parents.

“His enthusiasm and positive manner with young players is both welcomed and infectious.

“He will also be supporting the creation and delivery of our community programmes for children and adults as the Foundation looks to grow its impact on the health and well-being of local people and increase its financial sustainability.

“Zak is a fantastic addition to the Foundation coaching team and we are sure there will no shortage of demand for his time.”

Zak has already built a great working relationship with first-team player Blair Adams.

The pair are collaborating on the delivery of our Let’s Play Thursday sessions, the District Representative squad and the weekly coaching programme for Foundation Under-7 teams.

Welcome Zak – you’re definitely hired!

PICTURE CAPTION: Zak Turner-Cooke, 18, centre, with SSFC head of youth performance and development Jamie Williams, left, and youth performance and development manager Wess Brown, right.