Young Quartet Sign First Pro Deals
Written by Newcastle Utd
Tom Heardman, Liam Smith, Jamie Sterry and Macaulay Gillesphey have signed professional contracts
By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Managing Editor
Four Newcastle United Academy products have put pen to paper on professional contracts with the Club.
Striker Tom Heardman, midfielder Liam Smith and defenders Jamie Sterry and Macaulay Gillesphey were all offered terms in March.
And the quartet, who featured regularly for the Magpies' under-21 side last season, signed those deals earlier this week at St. James' Park.
Right-back Sterry, aged 19, was promoted to United's matchday squad on a number of occasions during the second half of the 2014/15 campaign, and was named among the substitutes for fixtures against Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur.
"I'm absolutely buzzing," he said, of signing his first professional contract.
"I was on the bench last season and the atmosphere was amazing. I hope to experience that many more times. I'm looking forward to pre-season training now and seeing how that goes. I can't wait."
Gosforth-born striker Heardman, also 19, is a big, physical front man who netted five goals from just eight starts for the under-21s last term.
He said: "Signing the papers in the boardroom was a bit surreal, and being a fan of the Club all my life, I am still trying to take it all in, that it's actually happening.
"A lot of hard work has gone into getting to this point but the real hard work begins now."
Nineteen-year-old Gillesphey is a centre-back by trade but has also been deployed at left-back during his four years at United.
He made 20 appearances for the second-string last season, and said: "It feels great, I'm over the moon to sign my professional contract.
"It's a thing I've always wanted since I was younger, so I'm really happy with it.
"I definitely want to try and push to get in the first team squad and on the bench, so I'll see what I can do about that."
Smith, who hails from South Shields, overcame an injury-hit previous couple of years to become a a regular for Newcastle's under-21 side last term, turning out 16 times.
The 19-year-old creative midfielder said: "I've been here for 13 years now and to finally sign my first professional contract is everything I have worked for. It's a special moment."
In addition, six players have signed third year scholarships with the Club - goalkeeper Brendan Pearson and defenders Jamie Cobain, Kyle Cameron, Adam Laidler, Callum Williams and Liam Gibson.