Thorp Academy

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Jack and Kieran rewarded for deals

TWO promising footballers from Thorp Academy have landed deals with two of the region's professional clubs.

TWO promising footballers from Thorp Academy have landed deals with two of the region’s professional clubs.

Jack Whittaker and Kieran Scott are both set to be handed places on the Elite Performer Programme at the Ryton secondary school and sixth form college as a reward for their progress.

The duo are representing Sunderland and Hartlepool United respectively, having successfully made a name for themselves locally.

Whittaker, pictured below, has only just joined Thorp in September after leaving Emmaville Primary behind and the 12-year-old has been shining for Sunderland’s academy.

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He said: “I started playing because my granddad used to play for Middlesbrough reserves as a right-back so I got interested.

“When I started to play for Ryton, in my first game there was a Sunderland scout when I scored six times.

“I was training with the elite team at Sunderland, I was then picked up by Newcastle, where I had a long trial, but that didn’t work out and I’m now back at Sunderland. Now I am playing for them and the year above.

“I am a centre-midfielder, but I wanted to be a goalkeeper initially. It’s exciting because at the end of this year I get a new contract. It’s going quite well.”

Scott, pictured below, is a couple of years older that Whittaker. The former Ryton Primary pupil is now in Year 9 and has made huge progress in recent years – and he wants it to continue.

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The 14-year-old said: “I started playing football at Swalwell, then played for Ryton with my mates because I wanted to enjoy a kick about.

“When we played against a team in Hartlepool, a scout went to look at a striker and I was a centre-back marking him. The scout said I had him in his back pocket, so I was asked to go to training for Hartlepool United for a six-week trial. Within two weeks I was signed.

“I train Monday, Wednesday, Friday and have games Sunday. I have signed until the end of the season and hopefully I can stay longer.

“We have played against Grimsby, Chesterfield, Lincoln and others. Playing against better players and with better players is helping me a lot. I want to give this is everything.”

Whittaker and Scott are part of the EPP scholarship programme at Thorp Academy. For further details contact [email protected]