Alex Gilliead

Name: Alex Gilliead
Nationality: English
Born: 11th February 1996, Shotley Bridge
Height: 6ft
Weight: To follow
Under-18s debut: 3rd March 2012 v Wolverhampton Wanderers (away), Premier Academy League
Position: Forward

He only signed scholarship forms with Newcastle in the summer of 2012, but Alex Gilliead had already achieved a great deal in a black and white shirt before coming to the club full time and now has the challenge of continuing his meteoric rise.

The pacy and tricky frontman, who can also play on the right wing, had already made his under-18 debut and helped himself to a first goal at that level before stepping up to the Reserve squad and making his debut against West Bromwich Albion in March 2012 - something which he ranks as the highlight of his young career so far.

He also represented England under-16s in the Victory Shield and the Montaigu Tournament in France and has gone on to represent his country and under-17 level, so it's hard to believe that he was a relative latecomer to the Academy set-up. The County Durham lad was spotted playing for Swalwell Juniors in 2011 and offered a trial, making a big impression at the Nike Cup.

Representing Newcastle is a dream come true for Alex, who is a former season ticket holder and attended games with his father and uncle. Hatem Ben Arfa and Yohan Cabaye are his favourite current players while Laurent Robert and Alan Shearer are his all-time heroes.

Shearer presented Gilliead with the Jack Hixon Trophy in March 2012.