October 15, 2019
A COACH who helped ex-England star Stewart Downing hit the professional stage is now instrumental in the development of footballers at Dyke House Academy.
The Hartlepool school, a Northern Education Trust academy, has forged a link with its Elite Development Squad programme and the Mark Proctor Academy. Talented players aged between 11-15 will be working with Proctor and excellent Middlesbrough FC coach Andy Dorchell. It is hoped the strong links with Boro, where Dorchell coaches academy players, can help Dyke House’s promising footballers develop on and off the pitch under their guidance.
Proctor said: “The Mark Proctor Academy is delighted to be working with Dyke House’s footballers. It’s a great opportunity to be coaching talented and focused footballers and hopefully MPA will help nurture and support these players into the next phase of their footballing journey.”
Teesside-born Proctor played for Middlesbrough, Sunderland, Nottingham Forest and Sheffield Wednesday before turning to coaching. He had a lead part in Middlesbrough’s reputable academy system, which produced the likes of Downing, James Morrison and Ben Gibson, before having a period as first team coach at the Riverside, Hibernian and Darlington. He guided Boro’s Under-18s to FA Youth Cup glory too.
Sessions will be specific to the new Year 7s at Dyke House on a Tuesday, while there will be further sessions with Dyke House’s Elite players on Thursdays and Fridays ranging from Y7-Y10s, boys and girls. Proctor or Dorchell will also attend some matches to deliver feedback in occasional classroom sessions to help them improve.
“MPA provides a varied topic-based programme which will help to maximise the potential of Dyke House players,” said Proctor, a UEFA Pro Licence qualified coach.
“The MPA programme will enhance the tactical and technical abilities whilst helping them to build confidence and resilience. We believe the quicker young players are exposed to the right environment with good practice, it will accelerate their development.”
It is an exciting link for Dyke House, which has previously enjoyed a successful relationship with Back2Basics coaching that has proven hugely beneficial to students in recent years. Rhys Morris, the coordinator of Dyke House’s Elite Development Squad, said: “I’m looking forward to working with the new coaches, bringing new ideas in order to develop the students. The fact Mark was head of academy at Middlesbrough Football Club means he brings new ideas in terms of coaching and in the classroom to give feedback. It is good he brings with him a coach who is currently working with Middlesbrough and they have already built a strong rapport with our students. They want to help develop the next crop of players. Hopefully they can help some of our footballers achieve their dreams.”