THREE protegés of Feet4Football played on the same pitch for Newcastle United this week, two of whom only made their debut last week.

Joe White, Kelland Watts and Jack Young all came on as substitutes for the Magpies in a 2-0 win over Burton: White at 55 minutes, Watts at 79 and Young at 83.

David Ballantyne, 38, of Haltwhistle, runs training camps for young footballers across Cumbria, Tynedale and Newcastle and has trained all three.

He said: "That's what's particularly pleasing.  It's always really rewarding to see players making their debut, but three of my boys on the pitch at once.

"It's what you work towards every day and to see it is incredible."

The former Newcastle United Academy Coach says it's the first time he's seen as many as three of his players on a professional pitch at the same time.

He worked with Jack Young and Kelland Watts when he was at the Academy and all three of them trained at Feet4Football.

"With the academy lads, they're like family.  You see them five times a week sometimes so you get to know them very well indeed."

He's been coaching for 20 years and doing Feet4Football for just over ten.  The camps and sessions are for 4-14 year-olds, so the players he started with will just be reaching the age of breaking into first teams now.

He has coached Shola Shoretire of Manchester United, Sam Greenwood of Leeds and Daniel Neil of Sunderland, as well as the three Newcastle players.

He trains 500 children per week, working on their technical skills in fast-paced 3v3 games.

"The smaller games give them limited space to work with.  They have to be physically and technically very good, as well as think on their feet.

"Then, when they go on a full-sized pitch, they feel like they have all the space in the world."

He keeps in touch with them through calls and texts and when he holds awards ceremonies for his youngsters he tries to get one of his former students down to present them.

"I ask them to come to classes and they give up their own time to come across. It really says a lot about them when they come, about who they are as people.

"They're the most hard-working out of anybody.  If anyone deserves to be where they are, it's them.  You can tell by the fact that they were at a football academy and still coming to my sessions as well.  It means they were training three times a week, playing a game on the weekend and still coming to me maybe twice too."