A budding Hexham footballer has been signed up to a professional academy.

Eleven year old Archie Harrison, who has played for Hexham Football Club’s U11 Milan team and Newcastle City Juniors, has signed for Sunderland Academy.

Archie is not the first Hexham FC player to be snapped up this year, with Patrick Ferguson recently joining Newcastle United’s Development Squad from Hexham U10’s Roma side and U11’s Juve.

Mark Gradwell, club coach and coach support mentor at Hexham FC, said: “Archie is a good player and he’s been signed on merit. It’s a huge positive for the club.

“Over the last 5 years, we’ve made big strides – but especially in the last year. There are quite a few players who have been scouted compared to the last 15 or 20 years, and we’ve had players go to Newcastle United, Sunderland, and Carlisle United’s development squads.

“The only downside is we don’t have a conveyor belt of talent to replace them straight away. However, scouts are looking at Hexham and the surrounding area again, which is really good for young footballers in Northumberland.”

Archie has been with the Hexham U11 Milan group since the U7 age group.

In a post on Facebook, Hexham FC said: “A very talented player and will be a big miss to his teams – but huge Congratulations Archie! On behalf of the club, enjoy the journey!”