Three Tyne Metropolitan College students will kick off new overseas studies later this year after netting prestigious soccer scholarships in the US.

Callum Harley, Jack Pearson and Kira Whittle have enjoyed a hattrick of success in their football-based programmes as the North East Sports Academy (NESA), which is part of TyneMet.

Callum, 18, from Whitley Bay, and Jack, 19, who study on the college’s Football Excellence programme, based at Goals Newcastle, at Gosforth Park, have accepted scholarships in Jones County Junior College, Mississippi, and Milligan College, Tennessee, respectively. 

Callum, who this season captained the Northumberland FA Under 18 team and played for Whitley Bay FC in the Northern League, will move to Mississippi in August to study a psychology degree.

Jack joined the college’s programme last September to access the benefits of its partnership with PASS4Soccer, which formed in 2002 and is based at TyneMet’s Coast Road campus.

PASS4Soccer specialises in securing soccer scholarships in US universities for players from the UK, Europe and around the world. Its expert staff enjoy strong relationships with hundreds of university coaches from across the US and focuses solely on soccer scholarships, to ensure that learners receive the highest level of service.

Jack has been an integral part of TyneMet’s men’s football squad which competes in the EFCA Category 1 league and reached the last eight nationally. 

Kira, 18, from Peterlee, County Durham, who also benefits from the support of the PASS4Soccer partnership, has accepted a scholarship at Park University, Missouri, and will join its programme after TyneMet’s Women’s Football side’s participation in the New York City Cup which takes place in July. Taking place in New York, it is open to teams at under-13 to under-19 level from the UK, France, Canada and the US.

Kira, who has completed a BTEC Extended Diploma in Sport, was part of the Women’s Academy team that won their ECFA Category 1 group 1 this season. She put in numerous solid performances at centre half, recognised with a nomination for the Academy’s Player of the Year. 

NESA provides learners aged 16 and over with the opportunity to combine their chosen vocational or academic studies with playing competitive football on a regional and national level. It has helped several learners progress onto USA scholarships in recent years.

TyneMet has four men’s and two women’s football teams, which ensures it caters for players of all abilities. They participate in the ECFA Category 1 leagues and also represent the North East Colleges League, which is exclusive to further education colleges in the region. 

Daniel Gray, director of PASS4Soccer and responsible for oversees recruitment, placement and after-placement care of students, said: “Kira, Callum and Jack have shown great dedication throughout the process and will be joining three of our trusted contacts that we have worked with over the years.

“They have attended numerous events to maximise their exposure and communicated positively with the coaching staff in the USA to build the necessary relationships.

“A lot of paperwork is required behind the scenes and the players have diligently completed each stage through our guidance. We are excited to follow their progress and confident they will be great ambassadors for our programme and TyneMet, both on and off the pitch.

“I have personally visited Park University, so I know that Kira is going to love the university and the surrounding area of Kansas City.”

Chris Wall, Deputy Head of Sport at NESA, said “We are delighted for all learners that have been awarded their scholarships. Through NESA, we strive to support and develop our students sporting ambitions and career aspirations.

“We have specialist coaches in many sporting disciplines and we develop individual training programmes that can be fitted into a student's academic timetable.

“The partnership with Pass4Soccer is unique and supports the aspirations of a small number of our learners who wish to study and play soccer in the USA.

“Callum, Jack and Kira are just a small number of the many successful students that we have supported this year that will progress onto their preferred destination, with each success is a testament to the high quality of coaching and teaching delivered by the professional and dedicated NESA and curriculum teams at TyneMet.”

Further information on TyneMet’s soccer provision, details of how to book places on the college’s summer camps, or information on the partnership with Pass4Soccer, is available by contacting Marc Nash (Men’s Football) at marc.nash@tynemet.ac.ukor Carl Chater (Women’s Football) at Carl.Chater@nufc.co.uk