Sunderland Foundation of Light Scholars players Craig Ellison and Lewis King have signed professional contracts with Premier League side Burnley.

Ellison has signed a one-year deal with the Clarets while King has signed a six-month deal with the option to extend it for a further year at the end of the season.

The duo were halfway through their second year of the Foundation of Light Football Scholarship but will leave the North East for Lancashire next week.

Speaking about the move, King said: “I’m very pleased, it’s a big step in my football career. I need to push on now and do well. I can’t wait to get started next week.”

The former-Shildon captain also hailed the scholarship program which has helped him progress as a player.

Ellison shared the same views and praised the coaches who “will do anything for you to make you a better footballer and give you opportunities to get into clubs and achieve your dreams”.

When asked whether he had any advice to anyone thinking about applying for the course in the coming years, King said: “I would recommend it massively, the coaches do a lot for you as a person, as well as with a football – so I would recommend it.”

Head coaches Jamie Chandler and Alan Young said they were “very proud” of their players’ achievements and were pleased their hard work had been rewarded.

Young also offered a word of advice to people thinking about applying for next years program: “It’s a great opportunity, look at the good news stories we have had so far.

“Craig and Lewis have been offered contracts and Burnley, but we have also had other players go on to do that but is not just the football side of things. The lads are all doing really well in their education and the overall environment we have created is a really positive one.”