GUISBOROUGH TOWN has made its first signing of the prematurely enforced closed season by snapping up Boro star George Friend to become ambassador its new Elite Soccer Academy initiative.

Enlisting Friend’s support is a coup for the academy, which like the rest of football has effectively been put on hold by the coronavirus pandemic.

But, behind the scenes, plans have continued to be developed for the academy so that it hits the ground running when circumstances permit, with Guisborough’s other main club ambassador James Coppinger a driving force behind the academy scheme.

Guisborough Town chairman Don Cowan welcomed the news of Friend’s involvement.

“We’re absolutely delighted that such a well-known Boro star of the stature of George has agreed to give his backing to our exciting Elite Academy initiative,” he said.

“It’s just great to have George on board with us in an ambassadorial capacity which will help raise the profile considerably of our academy, particularly among the younger aspiring football stars of the future.”

Friend said: “Guisborough Town Elite Academy is the perfect platform for young aspiring footballers, who also want to gain a quality education.

“I have experienced first-hand what programs like this can do for elite athletes, whether it be becoming a professional footballer or working within the sports industry, there is a great opportunity for all.”

Meanwhile, Guisborough Town’s recently-launched 50FIFTY club continues to go from strength to strength, with more than 200 numbers snapped up so far, meaning a weekly prize of over £100 is guaranteed for the winner.