Academy Ground: The Academy of Light, Sunderland Road, Cleadon, SR6 7UN


Academy Director/Manager:                                  Jimmy Sinclair – Academy Manager


First Team Players:                                                    Sunderland First Team


Academy Team Players:                                           Sunderland Under-23’s Team 

                                                                                    Sunderland Under-18’s Team


Ladies Team Players:                                                 Sunderland Ladies Team


Sunderland Fan Club:                                                 Sunderland Fan Club



The Academy:

Like FootieBugs, the Sunderland academy trains it’s players on 4G surface and offers top class coaching and medical training throughout development stage. Their philosophy is to provide a “professional, approachable and friendly” coaching style. They also make it clear, like us that players should experiment and express themselves. FootieBugs believes that creativity can often be the difference in a game of football which has been proved time and time again in the Premier League with some incredible goals.


Academy Status: Sunderland are a category 1 status academy

Category Status One Teams

Category Status Two Teams

Category Status Three Teams


Academy Staff:

Elliot Dickman, the Under-23’s coach had a very unfortunate playing career having suffered a hip injury at 20 years old. Despite letting that stop him, he has managed to solidify a place as an academy coach and has already transformed the team into a class set-up. After the first-teams relegation into league 2, many fans believe the Under-23 squad is the future of the club and should be given the support of development coaches.
Under 18’s coach Mark Atkinson has worked everywhere at Sunderland, from the foundation ages 5-11 and now to the under-18’s team. Atkinson is able to develop a strong bond with players as will as filling the typical “Mentor” role. This is not an easy task and our FootieBugs coaches can side with the Under-18’s boss as managing a variety of ages can be challenging but equally as rewarding.


How to get noticed by a scout

Generally, premier league clubs are closely following open trials as a way of pinpointing the newest talent, as well as having a vast network of scouts across the UK. Scouts are often preferential over structured leagues or with players of a high standard, playing together. This is one thing that FootieBugs academy can offer through our weekly training sessions and games against local teams managed by professional coaches. Because we cover a range of age groups at U6’s-U14’s we have a high demand for young upcoming talent and receive frequent scouts visiting our training sessions and matches. Due to the professional coaches we have available that have all played at a high level, we are able to distinguish which players are leagues above in terms of skill and can refer them onto Premier League clubs.


“If you’re good enough, generally they’ll find you.”


Academy Scouting System:

After a scout has seen a player, they will usually contact them and invite them to a trial day, otherwise the more common method of finding talents from all over are through football trial days and football camps. FootieBugs goes an extra mile in making your job easier as a parent and a young footballer. With our focused training sessions, the FootieBugs Academy will try it’s best to match your ability with a club who will nurture your talent . We will shape a football player into a footballer, by working on improving the child’s overall game and their image to scouts at Premier League Clubs.

This is where the FootieBugs Academy thrives, not only will FootieBugs look to put players forward to Sunderland when they feel they are ready, but FootieBugs will also ensure that Sunderland will be fully aware of what training each player will have received from the FootieBugs Academy and why the player has shown enough (Footballing skill as well as dedication and attitude) to be worthy of a trial.


If you feel your child shows promise and would like us to help them reach the level for us to recommend them to the Sunderland scouting network then please complete the following form:

Book an Academy Trial Today!


Academy trials

As you can imagine, a large number of young football players would like to join the Sunderland Academy set up and with clubs like Sunderland receiving trial requests all the time it’s very difficult to get noticed.

FootieBugs Academy believes that with correct training and dedication we can dramatically increase your chances of getting a trial with the Sunderland Academy.

Once a player reaches the standards that a club of Sunderland stature would expect then the FootieBugs team will do everything in its powers to introduce the player to the relevant Sunderland scout. 


Find out more about the FootieBugs Academy


FootieBugs Academy FAQ’s


The FootieBugs Academy is an independent organization and not part of any specific football club. This allows us to offer an honest and fair view of any players’ ability and suitability to join a professional Football Club. Although we will do everything in our power to help young players develop, we are unable to guarantee every player a trial. If you are looking for official club information then please visit the club’s official website as we can-not guarantee that all information is correct and up to date at the time of reading.

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