Gateshead FC Academy Gateshead FC Academy

We’ve teamed up with Gateshead Football Club to offer a football development programme which combines outstanding education opportunities and football excellence. This unique programme will enable you to gain the skills, knowledge, confidence and attitude required to build a meaningful and long lasting career in the football industry.

At the Gateshead FC Academy, you will have the opportunity to represent a professional football club whilst studying for nationally recognised qualification while playing in regional and national competitions.

For more information about the Academy structure, current players and coaches visit the Gateshead FC Academy website.

Meet the Coach

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Mark Spencer

Mark was appointed as Head Coach of the Gateshead Academy in October 2020. He holds the UEFA A Licence, FA Youth Award and Level 2 in Futsal. Mark is also a qualified lecturer and understands the importance of education within the sports industry. Mark’s former roles include Academy Manager at York City FC and Academy coach at Middlesbrough FC. He was in charge of the football development programme at Newcastle College and then moved on to assist Neil Maddison in the Football Academy at Middlesbrough College.

Over the past few years Mark has been developing SCL partnership clubs in forming new U19 Football Academies at Darlington FC, Billingham Synthonia FC and Leeds United Foundation. Mark also gained valuable experience in the 2012 Olympics as a volunteer. His role was to assist the International players and staff on a day to day basis for the likes of Brazil, Spain, Mexico, South Korea and the USA women’s team at Cochrane Park in Newcastle. This allowed him the opportunity to see behind closed door training sessions and match preparation at international level.

Students will have the opportunity to showcase their ability across a number of different teams that compete in the National League Youth Alliance, ECFA, ESFA Super Cup and NECL Competitions. Performance squads will be categorised as U17 & U18 squads. Development squads will be mixed age based on ability and will compete in regional competitions.

Some competitions have the additional opportunities to showcase your ability at regional and national trials to represent England for either England Colleges (ECFA) or England Schools (ESFA). We also recommend players to represent Durham County and Durham School U18's squads.

For further information email

Gateshead FC offer an additional year as an U19 player to train alongside the full time professionals while competing in the National League Academy North Division. Competing against other National League clubs such as Notts County FC, Solihull FC, Halifax FC, Chesterfield FC and York City FC to name a few. 

This gives students insight into professional football and what is required to either earn a professional contract at Gateshead FC or to gain a university scholarship in the UK or abroad.

For further information email

Regional and National Cup Champions 2022

The U19's became double winners collecting both the National League Division I title and League Cup in the same season, dramatically beating North Leigh FC 3-2 at Sixways Stadium (Worcester) with a stoppage time winner.

Connor Pani

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Connor joined Gateshead College and enrolled onto the BTEC Level 3 Sports Coaching and Development while trying to pursue a career in football. He was quickly identified as a talented player, and through the link with Gateshead FC he was given opportunities to impress both Mike Williamson and Ian Watson. 

He was also selected to represent England Colleges FA scoring against Wales and Chelsea in competitive fixtures. Connor showed outstanding commitment and attitude to both his studies and football, which earned him a professional contract at Gateshead FC along with picking up a winners medal for the National League North title.