A BUDDING footballer is shooting for the stars with the Black Cats.
Boldon School student Kieran Graham, 16, has worked extremely hard on his football career and has now been rewarded with an apprenticeship with Sunderland AFC.
Kieran, who excels in the sport and has played for his school team for many years, has been offered a Modern Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence due to his natural talent, hard work and dedication.
He will join a group of 12 players, which includes nine from the North East and three from Ireland, who will be the first official intake on the apprenticeship scheme.
This is a two-year scholarship and at the end, if successful, the boys will hold the equivalent of four A levels, two for their academic studies and two for the NVQ element plus the coaching badge, UEFA B part one.
On the pitch they will play in the under-18 and under-21 fixtures and hope to gain a professional contract from Gus Poyet at the end of the course.
Mel Brown, PE teacher at Boldon School, said: “Kieran has worked really hard and very much deserves this chance with Sunderland football club.
“He has dedicated his time to the sport but, has never forgotten his studies and has always been a polite and respectful student.
“We are all very proud of Kieran and wish him every success in his sporting future.”