Hartlepool Manager John Hewitson Shakes Hands with EDC Coach Darren Holloway outside East Durham College Peterlee Campus

EDC & Hartlepool United Launch New Football Academy for 16-18 Year Olds

East Durham College is thrilled to announce the launch of a brand-new Football Academy in partnership with Hartlepool United, opening new opportunities in professional football for young people across the North East.

The new Academy will be led by former Sunderland defender Darren Holloway, who will lead a team of 16-18 year olds supported by coaching sessions from former Hartlepool star Gus Di Lella who previously played for the club in the 1990s.

Hartlepool United and East Durham College recently entered into an exciting new partnership which saw Hartlepool choose EDC’s facilities in Peterlee as their new training base for all age groups. With the launch of the new Academy, 16-18 year olds will get access to high-level football coaching, as well as continuing their education as a student of East Durham College.

Players joining the new Academy will get a package of benefits, including the chance to train alongside Hartlepool United Players, coaching from UEFA-qualified coaches, free jointly-branded East Durham College and Hartlepool United training kit, onsite physiotherapy and incentivised tickets for Hartlepool United home fixtures.

The team will also compete in the North East College’s league during the 2018/19 season.

Darren Holloway, head football coach at East Durham College, said: “We are extremely excited to launch the new Academy alongside Hartlepool United.

“This is an ideal way for talented young footballers from our region to forge a potential career in professional football.”

Young people at the Academy also have the potential to go on to other careers in sport, including moving on to Foundation Degrees at university in related subjects such as coaching, sport, leisure and fitness.

Mark Maguire, Chief Executive of Hartlepool United said: “This is a fantastic initiative which further cements our partnership with EDC.

“It’s not beyond the realms of possibility that we will spot players who will then be asked to come across to our Academy set up - our staff will certainly be closely watching the players.

“The coaching delivered by EDC is exceptional and it will be a great day when the first EDC squad member pulls on a First Team shirt at Victoria Park.”

For more information, please visit the Football Academy page on our website or join the EDC Football Academy Facebook Page.