A junior football coach who has managed several of the same group of players for the last 10 years has been looking back on his team’s success.

Joe Speed, who last season managed Hexham Greens U17’s as they went on to secure a treble winning campaign, has seen many of his squad of players grow up both on an off the pitch.

Speed, who has continued to coach the squad through a number of different age groups, has been looking back over the ten years of success for the squad.

“I think that having so many of the players who began the journey right back at under 8s and still playing is one of the things I’m most proud of as a coach,” he said.

“Having coached for Hexham for 17 years, I know that the drop off in football tends to be huge around (age) 16, and it’s something the FA have tried to address.

“However, at Hexham, with the Greens and Hexham Whites - my other U17 side I coach - I have 38 children training and playing regularly.

“I don’t think it’s my doing at all. It was clear at U8 that the children in this particular cohort were a very sporty group.”

As well as coaching many of the side over the last 10 years as part of Hexham football teams, the side’s coach also regularly met several of his players away from the sport too as he went on to explain.

“It doesn’t feel like I’ve seen them grow up, I certainly have seen them grow up!” added Joe.

“I taught a lot of the boys to swim when they were four; taught them again at the Sele First School for my job as a teacher; and then I’ve spent at least three hours a week with them all for the last 10 years as a football coach.

“They’ve grown into excellent people, and I hope I’ve played at least a small role in shaping them into good citizens.

“Of course I’m proud of the players. They know that. I made a point after the last game to thank the players for everything that we’ve achieved together, as I have thoroughly enjoyed it all too.

“As I’ve mentioned, they’re an extremely coachable group of players.

“They’re good people and I know they’ll continue to be successful if they apply their attitude towards football to the rest of their lives. And I’ll be watching on with interest…”