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Friday, 22 May 2015

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Brendan joins gloves squad

FOOTBALL: A TEENAGER from Haydon Bridge looks set to become the latest professional goalkeeper from Tynedale.

Brendan Pearson has signed a two-year deal with the Newcastle United academy.

In recent years, brothers Ben and Jak Alnwick, of Prudhoe, Wark’s Carl Bell and Stocksfield’s Fraser Forster, who has made Roy Hodgson’s England squad, have all made it to the pro scene.

Now 16-year-old Brendan Pearson, a pupil at the village’s high school, has taken a step closer to joining the esteemed list after signing a two-year scholarship at Newcastle United’s academy.

The 6ft 3ins shot stopper has been at the academy for six years, and he has shown enough promise to warrant a full-time deal at the Premier League outfit.

Toon Army mad, the contract is a massive confidence boost for Brendan who dreams of one day pulling on the number one jersey at United.

He said: “I am over the moon and it came as quite a shock. I went into a meeting with academy director Joe Joyce and my goalkeeping coach and just expected a review of my performance, not to be offered a scholarship!

“Playing football is something I have always really wanted to do, and the past six years have gone well and I have improved all the time.

“I have been involved in a few good tournaments abroad, for example getting to the final in Rome in 2008, and played in many Premier League tournaments, and it has given me a taste of what to expect.”

Brendan turned out for Haydon Bridge United at Mini-Soccer level between U8 and U10, and he honed his skills under coaches Davy Edwards and his father Warren Pearson.

He caught the eye of United and was signed to the academy as a 10-year-old, and he has remained there ever since.

And even though the club have decided to hammer the French market recently, Brendan said he looks at the local goalkeepers who have progressed through Newcastle’s ranks for inspiration.

He said: “I look up to them and Fraser Forster is one of my favourite goalkeepers. I have trained a few times with Jak Alnwick too, and these keepers give me hope I can make it.

“I just want to keep progressing, get as much match experience as I can and then hopefully, after that, I can progress to the higher level.”