Sunderland's Foundation of Light is offering even more youngsters the chance to don the famous red and white stripes while studying towards nationally recognised qualifications.
Following the success of the football scholarship programme the Foundation is launching an education and training base at Hermitage Academy, Chester-le-Street, from September.
The new site will see 16 to 18-year-olds represent the Black Cats in the NFYL Under 19 League against teams from Newcastle United, Aston Villa and Crystal Palace and gain A Level, AS Level and BTEC qualifications over the two-year programme.
Jamie Wright, assistant director for delivery sales, said: "We are delighted to announce the launch of our Scholarship programme at Hermitage Academy.
"Last year exceeded all our expectations, not only through the performances on the pitch but also how our Scholars bought into the programme and excelled in the classroom.
"Hermitage Academy is an outstanding institution which matches our values of providing high quality education, facilities and opportunities to its students and ensures everyone works together to achieve that goal.
"This partnership will help keep us at the pinnacle of football scholarship programmes in the North East."
The pioneering Football Scholarship programme was established in 2016 through a partnership between Foundation of Light, South Tyneside College and Monkwearmouth Sixth Form College.
Earlier this season, Scholars representing Monkwearmouth and Shildon signed contracts with Premier League side Burnley FC, while every learner who has applied for University has received unconditional offers.
Foundation of Light is the registered charity of Sunderland AFC, working with tens of thousands of people every year in education, sport, health and employability programmes.
Structurally and financially independent of the football club the Foundation of Light relies on fundraising for 90 per cent of project costs.
Information evenings will be held on Wednesday, March 28 (6pm) and Thursday, March 29 (6pm) at Hermitage Academy.
The Foundation will also be hosting open training sessions at the school on Wednesday 11th and Thursday 12th April (10am-12pm) which will showcase the scholarship’s coaching style and how players’ training, preparation and strength and conditioning can be taken to the next level.
School leavers who are interested in joining the programme can call 0191 5515077 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to register.