On 14th July 2017, the four founders of Newcastle Elite Academy sat down with The Chronicle to discuss their academy project; to see youngsters provided with top class coaching at Northumbria University’s Coach Lane campus.
“This is the biggest area I have been to when it comes to grassroots football. It’s a one-club city and there’s so many people who are passionate about the game. We’re giving people an opportunity. What we’re saying is people can come and enjoy their football, improve and they might have a chance.”
– Rob Elliot, Newcastle United – Speaking to The Chronicle
“I actually started a similar scheme back home and I just thought it would be a really good thing to do. I’ve been up here a long time. I spoke to a few of the boys over dinner one night and it grew quickly from there.
We thought it would be a good thing to do – and wanted to give something back. We are trying to get the word out there and get as many kids involved in it as possible. The summer camp is just the start, we are looking to add a BTEC later.
We are hoping to give kids a chance who maybe get missed by the system, obviously there are a few of them. Players like myself and Dwight that played non-league before making it as professionals. We want to cover it as much as we can.
We have made sure we have the top coaches with qualifications who know the area. A lot of the coaches are playing semi-pro football as well. Even if we got players to semi-pro football in the long run it’s a success.
But players can make friends have fun and the parents have somewhere to send their kids and get some really good coaching. We are opening this up to the general public in Newcastle. We have also got people coming across from Portugal, Ireland and Majorca. It’s a great chance for them to get an insight into the coaching side of the game and improving.
We will look to start weekly sessions in term time so they can continue their development.”
– Rob Elliot, Newcastle United
“I was thinking about doing something like this before. I spoke to Matt Ritchie and it become more and more of a possibility. Then Paul Dummett got involved and Rob had been involved in something similar before.
The fact that we all bring variety from different areas, have all had different upbringings in the game makes it a good mix. We’ll all work together towards a nice environment to train and play.”
– Dwight Gayle, Newcastle United
“I’ve came through the Academy and know that a lot of talent in the area can get missed. It’s a chance for people to get involved and get some top quality coaching.”
– Paul Dummett, Newcastle United
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