South Shields sign teenage star who left Alan Shearer purring

South Shields have handed a first senior contract to teenage star Will Jenkins.
South Shields FC midfielder Will Jenkins.South Shields FC midfielder Will Jenkins.
South Shields FC midfielder Will Jenkins.

The 18-year-old has been rewarded for some stellar performances in the club’s academy by landing a deal with the Northern Premier League club.

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Alan Shearer’s message to teenage star Will Jenkins

Jenkins sprung to prominence back in December 2019 when, still aged just 17, he marked his debut for the first team with a stunning individual goal in a 3-0 win over Radcliffe.

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The young midfielder produced a brilliant chip from 30 yards out on his first start for Lee Picton and Graham Fenton’s team.

The goal attracted the attention of Newcastle United legend Alan Shearer, who messaged Shields chairman Geoff Thompson to tell him to pass on his congratulations to the teenager, who turned 18 last month.

Jenkins said: “I’m delighted to have been rewarded for a good season with a contract at first-team level.

“My time in the Academy has helped me massively and I feel like I’ve progressed a lot over the last two years.

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“Last season it was great to have the first-team captain Jon Shaw as my coach and Wess Brown has been a fantastic influence too. The Academy try to play in the same manner as the first-team and that helps a lot when you make that step up.

“I’m looking forward to trying to push on again next season and hope to become a regular.

“I’m also thankful to Graham Fenton and Lee Picton for the faith they are showing in me and the way they have helped and continue to help with the step up.”

Shields, who were 12 points clear at the top of the table before the season was ended, are continuing their bid to have the decision at how the NPL campaign was finished reviewed.

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In the meantime, they are continuing with plans for next season by tying down players to new contracts, and selling season tickets. The club has already sold more than 500 for next campaign, boosted by a Tickets To The Future initiative which has seen some fans and players, including Jenkins, purchase junior season tickets before donating them back to the club to be distributed to deserving children in the community.