With Sunderland Foundation of Light Scholars’ National Football Youth League Trophy final against Brighton on the horizon, head coach Martin Jones has praised the education system at the club.

The Scholars have had a great first season on the pitch but Jones highlighted the importance of education, which is based at Monkwearmouth Academy.

“Opportunities like this are fantastic,” he said

“But most important the education side of it is very good and obviously at the moment we’re doing the BTEC Extended 3 diploma, and what we’re hoping to do next year is we’re bringing in A-Levels so they can study as well as do the football scholarship.”

The balance between education and football is something that is very important for the Foundation of Light and Jones said that there are a number of players who could get to a good standard in the future.

“It’s very important for them to continue their development because so often enough there are players who can still make a high standard, not necessarily professional but a very high standard,” he added.

“I don’t see any reason why a lot of the players we’ve got here couldn’t.”