Evolution Football Coaching

Evolution Football Coaching was created to give young people in the North-East the best possible chance to develop their football skills and work towards a professional career in the sport. We offer a unique programme which will bring fully qualified, professional coaches from professional football clubs into Kingsmeadow and the local community.

Evolution Football Coaching are committed to delivering the best in professional football coaching for young people. Each student on the programme will receive professional coaching on a personal, one-to-one basis, as well as team work, with the aim of identifying areas for development and turning them into strengths.

We aim to identify, develop and improve individual technical skills and we will focus on your individual techniques and develop you as a player.

Evolution Football at Kingsmeadow

Evolution Football at Kingsmeadow

The Coaching Team

Gary Smith – Academy Manager

Gary is the director of Evolution Football Coaching. He is passionate about football development and carries the belief that professional football coaching is integral to the development of any player. As the director of Evolution Football Coaching, Gary studies and analyses the best individual techniques available to help develop young players. He implements strategies and organises talented coaches who are extremely motivated and dedicated to developing young players. implement strategies and organise a group of talented football coaches that are extremely motivated and dedicated to developing young people. He has several years of coaching experience, working with young people. 


  • UEFA B 
  • FA level 1 and 2 
  • FA Youth Module 1, 2 and 3 
  • FA level 3 Psychology 
  • Sports Science Qualifications 
  • Teaching Qualifications

Ross McKay – Head Coach

Ross is an ex-professional who spent four years playing with Blackburn Rovers FC. His football career started locally with North Shields and Wallsend Boys Club, where he attracted a lot of attention from many major English and Scottish clubs. He went on to trial at many such clubs and has spent extensive periods at Manchester United, Chelsea, Blackburn, Newcastle United, Middlesbrough, Sunderland, Rangers and West Ham.

At the age of 15 he lived with John Terry and regularly trained with Chelsea’s reserves and first team, under Gianluca Vialli. He subsequently signed professional terms with Blackburn Rovers FC, but unfortunately was forced to retire officially in 2006 after a serious broken leg.

Ross has spent the last ten years building up his coaching experience and has worked with Elite Football and College Football. He is currently employed by Manchester City where he coaches and talent spots internationally. He currently holds the UEFA B qualification and soon to complete his UEFA A.

Craig Lynch – Assistant Coach

Craig began his career with Sunderland AFC at the age of 6. He progressed through the academy and reserves, before reaching first team level. During his time at Sunderland he made two appearances in the Premier League against Wolves and Fulham in the 2010/2011 season under Steve Bruce, in which Sunderland secured a top 10 finish. He also represented Sunderland in the Peace Cup in South Korea under Martin O’Neil. During his time at Sunderland he had a brief loan spell at Hartlepool playing in eight games, starting in two of them and making the scoresheet.

After fifteen years at Sunderland he left when he was 21 and signed a six month deal with Rochdale, securing promotion to League 1 in the 2013/14 season. He then moved into semi-professional level playing in the Evo-Stick North Division with Blyth Spartans.

He still plays within the Northern League and currently holds a UEFA B coaching qualification with a view to completing the UEFA A licence in the near future. He also has extensive experience coaching children with Evolution Football Coaching.