Paul Huntington – Newcastle Star of the Future

On Saturday Paul Huntington, our 19-year-old center back from Carlisle was obviously keen to impress in front of his folks and against the club that have expressed an interest in taking him on loan this season.

Paul of course came in last season during all the injuries and appeared 16 times for Newcastle (14 starts) and scored one goal. That goal was the equalizer he whipped in during that amazing game with Tottenham at White Hart Lane when we finally ran out 3-2 winners.

Paul is probably our next youngster to break into the big time with Newcastle. When you look at where Steven Taylor was a couple of years ago Paul is very close to that standard and after two dependable displays in pre-season he must have impressed Sam Allardyce with his potential.


Paul Huntington

However, with Sam wanting to being in one and possibly two additional center-backs – it may be difficult for Paul to get many games at Newcastle this season. He definitely needs games to continue his progression into a premiership player.

If we do get two new center-backs look for Paul to be sent out on loan for the season – even though that may still be a tough decision for Sam to make.

Paul talked about Saturday’s game at Carlisle to the Evening Chronicle today:

“Pre-season is more about fitness than anything else – that’s where the emphasis is.“But for me to get 40 minutes or so is good. It was a good workout and I enjoyed it.

“However, I think we should have taken more of our chances – we did have 23 shots.” “It was enjoyable to come back to my home town.”

“Carlisle competed really well and there was a great atmosphere.”

The Newcastle Academy player was thrown in at the deep end last season and came out the other side with much needed experience in the big time. However, what is clear is that Paul is like Steven Taylor – his best position is center-back – and he can look commanding there with his 6’3” frame. Although he played at full back a number of times (on either side) he didn’t look as comfortable there.

Paul went on:

It would have been nice to cap the performance with a goal.

“I went up for a few set-pieces, but it wasn’t to be.

“It was a great finish by Nobby Solano though.”

Allardyce has already confessed that the first team experiences from last season of both Huntington and Peter Ramage will be crucial at the start of this coming season. David Rozehnal is the only other senior center-back currently fit and available. There are persistent rumors we may be after Norwegian International Brede Hangeland from Copenhagen – but of course the Premiership will be a new experience for Brede as well.

Paul added:

“By the end I was one of the more experienced players.“But there were still the likes of Nobby and Kieron Dyer out there.

“It’s a learning curve for everybody and when youngsters come on I have to give them a helping hand.”

Paul joined United from Trinity School, Carlisle on 1 July 2004. He played at Wembley Stadium for Carlisle schoolboys and also won the England Under 18 National Cup for his school in 2004.

Huntington made his Reserve team debut in the 3-0 win over Middlesbrough on 7 December 2004. He made his England U18 debut in a 1-0 win over Scotland at Hartlepool on 22 December 2004 and also featured in the 0-0 draw with Norway at Port Vale in June 2005.

He got his first taste of senior action when he came off the bench in the 3-1 Premiership win at Blackburn Rovers on December 9, 2006 and went on to make another 15 appearances for the first team last season.

We look forward – in the next couple of years – for Paul to be fighting it out for a first team place at Newcastle. If he does anywhere near as good as Steven Taylor has over the last two years – the fans and Sam Allardyce will be very happy indeed.

Comments welcome.

22 comments so far

  • col

    Jul 23, 2007 at 2:13 PM

    Comment #1

    obviously one for the future, and no doubt a good player. had a few dodgy moments last season, but that goes with youth and inexperience. bring him in gradually and i think he will be one to watch.

  • michael

    Jul 23, 2007 at 2:25 PM

    Comment #2

    If he’s still about in 2 seasons he’ll only be 21 while taylor will be 23. Nice thought, but worrying for this season. 19yr olds don’t play centre half week in week out in the premiership. Ever. they don’t know enough. Where were Terry or Carragher at 19?

  • Phil P

    Jul 23, 2007 at 2:29 PM

    Comment #3

    I honestly wasn’t as impressed with him last season as I was by Edgar, even though Roeder kept playing Huntington out of the two. It is good to see these lads coming through but I’d like to see a bit more of Edgar he looked a top little player.

  • Ed Harrison

    Jul 23, 2007 at 2:29 PM

    Comment #4

    Good points – Paul is 20 in September so just thinking if he can follow Steven’s path – he will be pushing for first team within a couple of years – although have to admit Taylor is special player.

  • Sturla

    Jul 23, 2007 at 2:34 PM

    Comment #5

    Don’t think it’s doing him much good being played at full back. Would like to see him get more experience at center back. See him as a more prospect than Ramage, although Ramage also been plagued with being played as a full back, he’s had some very dodgy moments also as a center back, i.e. against West Ham where Harewood totally dominated Ramage before he was subbed because of injury.

  • Soren

    Jul 23, 2007 at 2:42 PM

    Comment #6

    This player has a decent future ahead of him. But like Ed say’d, he isn’t quiet the class of Steven Taylor, but nevertheless he’s a good solid player. Hope we can bring in some defenders, so he can go on loan, because if he doesn’t it will not be good for his development. He and Taylor as a future centre back pair looks very promising indeed, and local lads aswell.

  • paul p

    Jul 23, 2007 at 2:45 PM

    Comment #7

    can a just say all. sunderland have signed leighton baines. middlesborough have signed luke young. what the hell is going on here. why have we not put an offer in for them both. these are better than what we have got, so what is going on here. i am really really starting to get p***ed off with newcastle. I went up to Carlisle saturday to watch them and what a load of rubbish. only barton and solano and rozenhal were any good. charlie needs to be played left wing not left back, wasted at left back and he is not a left back. carr well he may as well of stopped in the house. got skinned. where is all these quality players we are supposed to buy at eh. if it stays as we are, no joke. I have seen us twice now, we are going to be involved in a relegation fight again, no joke. unless we get more in.

  • stelios s

    Jul 23, 2007 at 2:55 PM

    Comment #8

    Wasn’t the goal he scored against Man U? 2-2 in St James?

  • Mick G

    Jul 23, 2007 at 3:09 PM

    Comment #9

    I agree with Paul P. NUFC should make a late bid for Baines.Being from Wigan myself I’ve watched him quite a few times,he’s a huge prospect, miles better than any full back at Newcastle, but then again so am I.He’s a lot better than Wayne Bridge, who some people rave about.If NUFC miss out on him they will always regret it.Unless BSA has got someone better lined up,but I won’t hold my breathe,top quality players at the moment won’t go to a non champions league club, so snap up Baines now.

  • JP from The Rock of Gibraltar

    Jul 23, 2007 at 3:14 PM

    Comment #10

    I prefer Edgar to Huntington. Edgar has looked much more solid in his rare apperances and who can forget that goal against Man U…PRICELESS!!

  • Fergie

    Jul 23, 2007 at 3:15 PM

    Comment #11

    I agree with Phil P. From what i saw last season, David Edgar looks like a more accomplished defender and a better footballer. He seems to have a very experienced head on young shoulders and captaining his country at the U20 world cup this summer can only have had a positive effect. I don’t doubt that Huntington looks like a good talent for the future but I feel that Edgar should be the one who gets the nod first as he is so calm on the ball as well as being an intelligent footballer.

  • Shaun

    Jul 23, 2007 at 3:30 PM

    Comment #12

    I think Paul will develope as will some of the other younsters

  • paul p

    Jul 23, 2007 at 3:31 PM

    Comment #13

    but players like huntington and edgar, ramage etc are not going to win us anything are they. we need quality players brought in like baines, etc. it looks like dyer is going now, so i think we should do a swap with either west ham or spurs. lennon/king for dyer or upson and ferdinand for dyer or even dean ashton.

  • jeff

    Jul 23, 2007 at 3:32 PM

    Comment #14

    if its true and baines and young go to boro and the mackems either sam has some quality players in the pipeline,or he just doesnt fancy either of them…at the end of the day if it was down to the fans to sign players we probably wouldnt have much of what is in the squad at the moment…….To me he will know who is up for sale or available in whatever way….Yes they are better players than what we have but if sam isnt interested it points to me like he must have better ones lined up………put it this way I bloody hope so its getting daft now………we let 4 defenders go and bring one in 2 if you count Geremi but its still short and we were very short last season..Something has to be sorted this week

  • Lee R

    Jul 23, 2007 at 3:43 PM

    Comment #15

    I cant agree more with Fergie, JP nad Phil P about Edgar. I watched him a few times last season and he looked so composed on the ball. In the Man U game he took it all in his stride and was actually controlling the back line, telling taylor to get out the box. He is sheer class.

  • Ed Harrison

    Jul 23, 2007 at 4:55 PM

    Comment #16

    stelios s – David Edgar scored the second goal against ManU – that’s when he could stop smiling for the rest of the game 😀
    We think Edgar is another excellent player in the making.

  • Bosck

    Jul 23, 2007 at 5:32 PM

    Comment #17

    Yes Baines is a good player but i dont think he is worth the £6-7 million that it is rumoured Sunderland are about to pay. If Sam wanted either player we’d have got them in front of the Mackems and Smoggies as we have done already this season.

    Given Sam allardyce is a premiership manager and none of us our i think i’ll go with his opinion on whether they are what we need at the club or not.

    As for Edgar and Huntingdon, both are great prospects for the future. Huntingdon has been playing more than Edgar as Edgar was involved in the U20 World Cup, but although he looked the more assured of the 2 last year Edgar was at fault a number of times for Canada U20’s, and was largely responsible for the goal in a 1-0 defeat. It’s natural that both will have lapses as they are young and inexperienced, but they need the fans to back them when they’re given a chance.

    Paul P- Lets be honest there is no way Spurs would swap King or Lennon for Dyer, West Ham wouldnt swap Ashton, and Ferdinand is far too prone for lapses and inexperienced for what we need. Upson would be the only sensible choice that we’d stand any chance with and thats very unlikely.

  • rich

    Jul 23, 2007 at 7:02 PM

    Comment #18

    id hope he will emulte Taylors progress, but you have to remember why Taylors so good at such a young age… id like to think that the dark days of our defense leaking more than the south of england are well behind us.

    Taylors basically been defending with no cover for a few years, hopefully get him in with a good solid unit who communicate and he could be the next Geordie John Terry.

    we still need 3 more defenders though, no matter how good huntington and zog may be in defense!!!

  • dave bulman

    Jul 23, 2007 at 7:29 PM

    Comment #19

    i agree with paul,very annoying how slow we are at moment buying more defenders,alot of good players getting snapped up.ashley doesnt seem to be giving too much funds,so much for the rumoured 50 million.i didnt like freddie shephard but he came up with the money for players.we need to buy a quality left and right back.

  • Ed Harrison

    Jul 23, 2007 at 8:44 PM

    Comment #20

    Rich – agree – Sam has to bring in 3 new defenders – there’s no way he can back out of that now – that’s been our perennial weakness and must be fixed. We need to get two in this week!

  • Ed Harrison

    Jul 23, 2007 at 8:47 PM

    Comment #21

    Dave – i’m sure the lack of transfer funds is not the reason we are not bringing players in – certainly Sam has never said that – rather he needs to explain to the new people at the club why he wants them etc – but no doubt we have to move a lot faster for these players. Sam seems very frustrated – since he’s a real go getter.

  • Mac

    Jul 25, 2007 at 12:33 AM

    Comment #22

    Shite that’s all i’m saying Shite. Sick of the in activity,no defenders no hope.


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