South Shields’ Hull-bound starlet Adam Curry has been backed to flourish in full-time football – by the Mariners’ own Premier League old boy, Julio Arca.
And Arca believes other Shields players are capable of following Curry into the professional ranks.
Curry, just 18, has signed a two-year contract after impressing on trial at the KC Stadium.
And Arca has seen enough of the Jarrow youngster in his few months at South Shields to be convinced he will make the grade under Steve Bruce.
“Adam could have a very good career ahead of him. He’s a really good player and still very young” said Arca.
“He has a good chance, and there are some other really good players there (at Shields).
“Some have played in America, and some of them have played in the lower divisions in England.
“We have a couple more who are only 22 or 23 – so they are still young enough – who have potential. But it depends how much they want it.
“Are they comfortable enough to just work and play football part-time?
“Are they happy with what they get now, or do they want to push themselves more and perhaps go abroad – like to America – to make a career?
“Some players don’t like to travel. They prefer to stay around here and are happy to play part time.”
But Arca, who spent 13 years at Sunderland and Boro, recognises South Shields chairman Geoff Thompson and his club colleagues are intent on creating a professional environment of their own at Mariners Park.
“You can’t compare the Northern League with the Premier League – they are too far away (from each other) – but South Shields is one of the teams that are trying to do everything as a Premier League would do it.
“They’re trying to build a professional team. The facilities here are fantastic.”
Meanwhile, Shields’ Northern League Division Two game at Darlington RA last night was called off because of a waterlogged pitch.