Will Jenkins signs first senior contract at South Shields

Will Jenkins signs first senior contract at South Shields

Academy graduate Will Jenkins has committed his future to South Shields after signing his first senior contract with the club.

The exciting midfielder made a real impression during the 2019-20 season and scored a stunning goal on his first league start for the senior team in last December’s win over Radcliffe.

His ability, maturity and drive to succeed have impressed everyone at the club, as has his ability to deal with the added pressure of playing for the first-team.

Jenkins’ progression further underlines the clear pathways from the 16-19 Academy at Mariners Park.

He is the fourth Academy graduate to have signed a senior contract within the last year and he will enter the 2020-21 season with 12 senior appearances already to his name, along with two goals.

Jenkins – who turned 18 last month – said: “I’m delighted to have been rewarded for a good season with a contract at first-team level.

“My time in the Academy has helped me massively and I feel like I’ve progressed a lot over the last two years.

“Last season it was great to have the first-team captain Jon Shaw as my coach and Wess Brown has been a fantastic influence too.

“The Academy try to play in the same manner as the first-team and that helps a lot when you make that step up.

“I’m looking forward to trying to push on again next season and hope to become a regular.

“I’m also thankful to Graham Fenton and Lee Picton for the faith they are showing in me and the way they have helped and continue to help with the step up.”

Jenkins has been part of SSFC Academy since the summer of 2018 and was a star of last season’s historic run to the third round of the FA Youth Cup.

The young Mariners defeated the likes of Hartlepool United, Morecambe and Harrogate Town to reach round three for the first time in the club’s history, with Jenkins proving to be a constant goal threat.

He is now the second member of that team to have been rewarded for his progression with a senior contract after Sam Hodgson put pen to paper earlier this year.

Further announcements regarding the future of first-team players will be made over the next 24 hours.