Next up is midfield maestro Declan Bisset, a player with bags of potential and an eye for a killer pass. WRITES ADAM TONES
Bisset joined Whickham at the start of the 2020-2021 season and has since made himself a regular in the middle of the park.
Declan, 17, of Winlaton has been a regular in Whickham’s first team this season, bagging two goals and three assists.
The teenagers vision, ball control and awareness has kickstarted a number of attacks that have led to crucial goals.
Bisset got into the game at the age of just six when he joined Ryton. The box-to-box midfielder stayed for three years before signing for Sunderland Academy.
The 5ft 7in midfielder enjoyed a successful spell with Sunderland, which resulted in gaining vital experience and knowledge as he moved forward in his footballing career.
During his five-year spell with Sunderland Academy, Bisset noticed his game develop both on and off the ball thanks to the standard of facilities, coaching and regular training available.
He added: “It was really good; the coaching was very good which has helped to bring my game on a lot. We would be training four times per week with games on Sundays.
“We would do the likes of psychology, which would help with understanding what we needed to do to improve our game as well as keeping you on the right track.”
Declan was part of the academy team that went to Belgium to compete in the Truce Tournament. A successful experience he was pleased to be a part of.
Bisset made the decision to depart Sunderland after falling out of love with football. Looking for a fresh start he joined the famous Wallsend Boys Club.
A club that has produced many a star name over the years. Successful footballers such as Alan Shearer, Michael Carrick, Peter Beardsley, and Steve Bruce all previously played for the club.
Bisset added: “It was good, we didn’t train as much though, I went to Ireland in a tournament it was called the Super Cup.
“It was mostly academies that went but Wallsend got the chance to go and from that, I got trials with Portsmouth when I was fifteen.”
Bisset travelled to the south coast and began trials with the former Premier League club.
Bisset reflected adding: “I went down and done the trials, nothing came from them, but it was a good week away.”
The trials included a trip to Fratton Park and the opportunity to watch Portsmouth in action.
The teenager returned north and continued with Wallsend Boys Club before joining Whickham.
Former Lang Jacks player-coach Steve Bowey offering young Bisset the chance to train with the club.
After impressing in several training sessions, Whickham took up the option to sign Bisset.
Since joining the Lang Jacks he said: “It was a tough step up especially being young, 16 and 17 years old playing Northern League.
“I’ve really enjoyed the step up and it’s challenged me as a player and brought me on.”
Speaking about the club’s impressive run of form over the last five months, he added: “I thought the change was really good.
“They’ve come in and excelled with us, we’ve trained a lot and you can see the improvements. We are a much stronger and fitter team.”
The creative midfielder spoke about the team spirit and the advantage of having a strong management system in place.
He said: “Yeah it does help because we get a lot of different information coming in and different points of view which has helped the side.
“It’s much stronger now and having such a strong side now we can challenge for the title next year and hopefully get silverware.”
Bisset has ambitions of his own and wants to continue improving his game and climbing the football ladder within the next couple of years.
He added: “Hopefully I’m playing a lot higher whether it’s with Whickham or whether it’s somewhere else, I’m aiming to get as high as I can in the game.”
The skilful teenager is a player who is always looking to improve his game. Bisset wants to add more physical presence as well as goals and become the complete player.
Declan has shown in many matches he has the Coutinho-esque ability to glide forward while also having the Modric eye of picking out a pass.
One player whose game will only continue to grow.
Player Profile – Declan Bisset.
Position: Central Attacking Midfielder
Collage: Studying B-Tec Sport
Personal season highlight to date: Winning goal (free kick) vs Newton Aycliffe.
Favourite Present Player: Lionel Messi
Favourite Past Player: Ronaldinho
Messi or Ronaldo: Lionel Messi
Favourite Team: Newcastle United
5-a-side Dream Team: Navas, Xavi, Iniesta, Ronaldinho, Messi.