Gateshead hand first pro deal to rising star
Gateshead prospect Connor Pani has been handed his first professional contract by the National League North club.
The 17-year-old midfielder has trained with the Heed first-team over the last month and made a first senior appearance in last Tuesday’s pre-season friendly at Northern Premier League club Hebburn Town.
The youngster caught the eye with an energetic 45-minute display as Mike Williamson’s side claimed a 4-1 win over the Hornets.
Pani has now put pen-to-paper on a professional deal to become the latest Gateshead academy product to graduate to the senior side.
He has won praise from his manager.
Player-manager Williamson told the club website: “He’s an extremely talented player and he’s got a lot of potential.
“We saw a young lad who came in and handled himself very well didn’t get flustered looked confident accomplished and is technically very good.
“It’s up to him now to work hard and find his level but he’s certainly got a lot of potential, and that’s something we’re all excited about,” he added.
Pani joins fellow academy graduates Nelson Obgewe, Ryan Bolton and Adam Cameron in taking his place in Williamson’s squad ahead of the new National League North season.
Meanwhile, Mark Spencer, Head of Men’s Football at Gateshead College said: "It’s fantastic to see Connor signing a professional contract with Gateshead Football Club.
“To have four of our college students with contracts at the club shows that our academy model of coaching and training young talent for progression into the first team is working,” he added.