SEATON Carew had more than just Paul Braithwaite’s Hartlepool Sports Personality of the Year triumph to celebrate this week.
Braithwaite, a product of Seaton CC’s youth system, clinched the famous town trophy at the Hartlepool Sports Council’s awards.
And two more young talents developed at the same excellent Hornby Park complex walked away with accolades.
Seaton Carew junior football coaches Jess Coates and Kieron Cope were recognised for their skills and dedication by being awarded the Services to Sport and Volunteer Coach trophies.
Their devotion to duty should come as no surprise due to their family ties to the town’s biggest sporting organisation but the fact they are only 21 shows they are special individuals.
Both still play football but are keen to help bring more talent through into the Seaton
Jess has emulated mum Edie, who is one of the club’s stalwart figures, Kieron doing likewise as he follows in the footsteps of dad Mick.
Goalkeeper Jess is at the helm of the growing female section while Kieron is involved in coaching the youngest part of the operation, the Under sevens.
“Me and Kieron both started playing football in the same age-group,” said Jess.
“We’ve come through the system here and now we’re looking to bring kids through ourselves.
“Kieron has done a great job with the Tiger clubs and I’m looking to replicate that with the girls section.
“We’re both still enjoying playing, but I think it was a natural progression getting into the coaching.
“My mam has been here since I started playing when I was 10, likewise with Kieron and Mick.”
Seaton Carew have hundreds of footballers playing at Hornby Park, from the four-year-olds who need help with their bootlaces right through to the senior sides.
“We have somewhere between 400 and 500 here,” said Jess, who is looking to increase the numbers by expanding the ladies teams.
“At the moment we have a Ladies, Under 15 and Under 13 sides so we have 80 to 100 girls.
“But on top of that I’m already developing a 10s, 12s and a further ladies squad, so those numbers are likely to double.
“Players are not just coming from the town but players are joining the club from Peterlee and Billingham.
“The good thing for the girls is that because the way the women’s game has taken off the players can now make a living out of playing football.
“It’s not going to be as well as the guys but the women’s game is on fire at the moment.
“We hope that we can get players from our grassroots section into player development centres and then may be on to professional clubs when they are older.
“We definitely have potential here and we’ll be looking to develop the talent and give them the best opportunities to move on.”