Top Ten Teenagers At Newcastle Just A Start

With the acquisition of 5 top teenagers at Newcastle last month, we can now boast that we have some top teenagers at the club.


Chris Mort and Kevin Keegan – some top youngsters now at Newcastle

When Chairman Chris Mort completed his strategic overview of the club, one of his findings was that we didn’t have enough up and coming youngsters just below the first team, and aged between 17 and 20 years old.

One of his other major findings was that it would be helpful to have a football man to advise the Newcastle board, on things happening and things that need to happen at the club.

So in January a few things happened to put all this into operation:

  • Chris appointed Dennis Wise to be Executive Director of Football to assist the Board on football-related matters. He will also work closely on player recruitment for Kevin Keegan, and try to secure the players Keegan identifies. He will also bring players to Keegan to see what he thinks about them – and take it from there if Kevin gives the OK.
  • Tony Jimenez was hired as Vice President of Player Recruitment, and Jeff Vetere was given the position of Technical Co-ordinator, and joined us from Real Madrid . It will be their job to scour the world for talent for both young and experienced players
  • We recruited 5 top youngsters to the club, four were 17 years old and one was 18 years old.
    They were Ben Tozer, Wesley Baheng, Tamas Kadar, Fabio Zamblera and Ole Soderberg.

So the strategy that Chris Mort has put in place for the club has started, and weve seen some benefits – and we’ll see more benefits of this in the summer. We expect at least 6 senior signings then, plus at least 3 more youngsters coming into the club.

When you also include some of the youngsters we already have at the club, here’s a list of the top 10 teenagers we have at Newcastle United right now:

Player     	   Age  Position  Nationality

Ole Soderburg      17      G      Sweden
Tamas Kadar        17      CB     Hungary
Ben Tozer    	   17      LB     England
Kazenga Lua Lua    17      M      DR Congo
Fabio Zamblera     17      S      Italy
Wesley Baheng      18      S      France
Mark Doninger      18      M      England
Andrew Carroll     19      S      England
Tim Krul   	   19      G      Holland
Fraser Forster     19      G      England

We think this is all very impressive, but it’s only a start. We’re looking forward to updating this list, and also having a separate senior signings list, when the August transfer market closes at midnight on August 31st. We cannot wait.

In the next few days we’ll have pieces on each of these youngsters, so that Newcastle fans will know these lads are at the top of the tree for their ages.

Comments always welcome – just keep the language decent for the kids – including those above.     😀

31 comments so far

  • Nev

    Feb 4, 2008 at 12:02 PM

    Comment #1

    one thing we never should of done was let Paul Huntington leave

    we has massive potenial for the future and hopefully Wise mite sign him back for us as he signed him for Leeds !

  • Ed Harrison

    Feb 4, 2008 at 12:03 PM

    Comment #2

    We had thought that too – don’t be surprised if we get him back – but only if he’s been playing well for Leeds – have to check up to see how he’s been playing.

  • Ed Harrison

    Feb 4, 2008 at 12:07 PM

    Comment #3

    Huntington has started just 7 games plus 5 substitute appearances -so it looks like he’s not a regular for Leeds United.

  • ToonNorway

    Feb 4, 2008 at 12:09 PM

    Comment #4

    I think you should have included Johnny Godsmark on that list of youngsters. He is always on the scoreboard for our second string team. And have been for at least a season.

    We have a good youth side going now, and that is the right way to go to establish future success for our beloved club.

  • Nev

    Feb 4, 2008 at 12:09 PM

    Comment #5

    i herd he was banging in a few from corners

    ill have a word with a leeds fan i know in bit

    he was very good last year .. much better than bramble and ramage

  • ToonRich

    Feb 4, 2008 at 12:16 PM

    Comment #6

    I just hope that these youngsters are given a chance to show their quality…perhaps KK could take the Arsene approach and play the younger squad in the cups??

    I’d be tempted to give a few of them a shot in the league also, we know Lua Lua and Carroll can handle it.

  • Kash2

    Feb 4, 2008 at 12:16 PM

    Comment #7

    Ryan Donaldson and Frank Danquah are internationals for their countries at U17 /U18 level. Both rated too!

  • nightfall

    Feb 4, 2008 at 12:16 PM

    Comment #8

    Huntington? the guy is toooooooooooooooooo slow…only strikers in EPL he could play ok against are smith, shola and viduka…

  • vin

    Feb 4, 2008 at 12:19 PM

    Comment #9

    Huntingdon? Are you joking, albeit out of position, he was awful. Edgar always looked the better prospect.

  • Steeley

    Feb 4, 2008 at 12:25 PM

    Comment #10

    It all sounds good on paper Ed, however, who says that any of these players are indeed any good? I hate to say it, but if they were so amazing then I’m sure bigger clubs would have snapped them up. Of course, some great players slip through the nets into smaller clubs, however, I would be very VERY surprised if any more than 2 of them end up playing regularly for us.

    I saw someone else’s post last week that mentioned that most of the youth we buy in will probably end up playing for a Scottish 1st Div club and then sold on – it’s probably right.

    I think with the state of our first team the way it is, we need to go out in the summer and concentrate 100% on players who can come straight into the 1st team squad, and I’m hoping that’s why Wise et al have been brought in – so that Keegan can plough on with 1st team matters, while they chase up younger players.

  • Ed Harrison

    Feb 4, 2008 at 12:33 PM

    Comment #11

    Steeley – you’re right – the proof of the pudding is in the eating. We’ll have to see how these guys do – but if we are scouting them right – some will make it through and save us big money.
    Arsenal seem to be able to do that – and the key is to have the right scouting network in place and people who can spot real talent – we haven’t been able to do that in the past.
    We think the strategy is great – now we’ll see if we can execute. Hope so.

  • Mr T

    Feb 4, 2008 at 12:42 PM

    Comment #12

    Three Lion Ryan don’t forget him, nor Johnny Godsmark.

    Your forgetting our captain of the reserves as well David Edgar, who looks good everytime I’ve seen him.

  • mark

    Feb 4, 2008 at 12:54 PM

    Comment #13

    3 keepers, i would sell stevie harper now for a couple of reasons. he is one of my favourite players, his love for the club and loyalty is amazing. however, he deserves first team football week in week out, sadly, it wont be with us, so i would sell him and put Krul on the bench.

  • mark

    Feb 4, 2008 at 1:13 PM

    Comment #14

    Danquah is a product of Ajax 😀

  • Bryan

    Feb 4, 2008 at 1:13 PM

    Comment #15

    I agree with Steeley. The state of our first team is so bad we need to concentrate all our efforts in bringing in first rate players in the summer. We really do need 8 or 9 that can walk straight into the team. Get rid of the dead wood (we all know who they are) and slowly introduce 1 or 2 of the kids throughout the season.
    Make no mistake, KK has a massive job on his hands this time round. Lets hope he suceeds.

  • Stephen

    Feb 4, 2008 at 1:30 PM

    Comment #16

    I think this is a great idea this is the only way to try and catch up on the big teams…..

    It does work look at Arsenal picked up Toure for like 750 grand ….

    And fabregas who they picked up from Barcelona youth team wouldnt it be nice if we picked up a player like that?ha

  • Leo*

    Feb 4, 2008 at 2:26 PM

    Comment #17

    i will look forward to reading about them all individually, its great that we have players coming through, i just hope they are properly managed and trained

  • Whumpie

    Feb 4, 2008 at 2:34 PM

    Comment #18

    Steely and Bryan – no offense fellas, but I take a very different view. Yep, we can buy in some 1st-teamers in the summer, and no doubt it’ll happen. But that will not be enough and at best will move us up the league a few places in the short term.

    We have to take a longer-term view which is commercially viable. The Toon are currently imfamous for four things:

    1. Having lots of managers who splurge money on 1st-team players, who then don’t gel.

    2. Sacking the managers and selling their new players at a huge loss.

    3. Failing to win anything.

    4. Go to item 1.

    Mort and co have identified the core reason: that you can’t run a viable business just hoping to pay for finished product – you have to take the Arsenal model and bring ’em through.

    Personally I’m very encouraged by our January signings. Yep, a bit disappointed with the total lack of seniors, but I wasn’t that convinced there would be any.

    I think we’re finally seeing that long-term strategy that will get us back up there. Shame so many people don’t get it and just keep shouting for money (our money) spent in the same old way.

  • Geordie Joe

    Feb 4, 2008 at 5:35 PM

    Comment #19

    Why have people got a negative view on signing youngsters. it can only help the club, there is no way it can harm us so why are people complaining about it. There should be no problem in signing youngsters aswell as seniors in the summer.

  • Dunc

    Feb 4, 2008 at 5:43 PM

    Comment #20

    I heard not long ago that Arsenal have around (I think it was) 75 youngsters on their books.

    Is this so???

    I might be wrong. Could be more could be less.

    You’re going to pick up the odd Fabregas if you hoard players like that. Aren’t you??

  • Dunc

    Feb 4, 2008 at 5:44 PM

    Comment #21

    Do you know how many players Arse have on their books Ed?

  • briss

    Feb 4, 2008 at 7:12 PM

    Comment #22

    This is just good business signing players young with potential that can maybe fit in with our first team squad but if they dont we will most likely sell them for 3 or four times the quid we bought them for. Giving them the experience of a bigger club can really interest the clubs in lower leagues to take interest in these lads. its a win-win situation!

  • Keegan=God.

    Feb 4, 2008 at 9:05 PM

    Comment #23

    Edgar is the best.

  • CJ

    Feb 4, 2008 at 9:56 PM

    Comment #24

    People complained when we never signed anyone in January that has been are biggest problem over the years signing too many players who aren’t good enough and players we don’t need.

  • Andreas

    Feb 5, 2008 at 7:41 AM

    Comment #25

    Steely (and others) – if 2/5 players makes our first team we’ll be among the best in the world when it comes to handle youth players. I think that maybe 1/5 or even less will cut it and play PL-footy for NUFC, the rest will be shipped out sooner or later. The point of the matter is that the only way to find a gem like Cesc or Dos Santos is to have a large number of kids/youth on our books since so few of them actually turn out to be great and this is why I really like the new strategy to bring in a lot of prospects. Moreover, it’s a low risk approach since most of the players that don’t make it will be sold on for a profit – and the essential part is that the chances of us getting a “gem” is increased dramatically.

    So Steely et al, realise that clubs don’t buy 5 kids and expect most of them to cut it – it’s a question of finding those rare gems every now and then.

    Side note: I agree that we ALSO need a few signings that make the first team at once – and of course of the calibre that improve the team. However, that’s a separate issue and the new youth policy seems very good in my opinion.

  • AdamCF

    Feb 5, 2008 at 9:35 AM

    Comment #26

    It’ll be about how well our Youth Department is to nurture this talent and to help them become match hardened footballers. At the end of the day, you can spend say 15mil on a state-of-the-art Youth Department with coaches etc to develop the next superstars. It’s cheaper than what it’d cost to bring any superstar currently to the club and it’s a long term plan. Keep it up and bring on the Department of Youth 🙂

  • TS

    Feb 5, 2008 at 10:34 AM

    Comment #27

    I don’t understand some people on here. Look at N’Zogbia – to my mind our best player, at least in midfield. He was bought for £250k and came through to claim a regular 1st team place. If we didn’t bother getting him in as a youngster cause we were ‘concentrating on the 1st team’, do you think we would be able to buy him now? If he actualy wanted to come to us over the likes of Arsenal or Man U, we’d obviously have to spend far more than £250k. To say that the good youngsters only ever go to bigger clubs than NUFC, and therefore we shouldn’t bother with youth, is crazy!

  • Archie Brand

    Feb 5, 2008 at 11:19 AM

    Comment #28

    Nice to see an article concentrating on the positive aspects and not slagging off Keegan because he wasn’t able to walk through the door one day and whoop Arsenal the next.
    Its all about building foundations
    Ferguson did it in the mid 90’s and look what Man U achieved over the next 10 years with that well gelled nucleus of youngsters.
    Arsenal are doing it now (Though Wenger is bringing them in a little later).
    What do we want? Go out and buy the stars now to give us that immediate feel good factor so we can finish 8th instead of 13th, or build a youth system that can support us for a decade, and throw the odd experienced player in here and there to see them through.

    Good article Ed, I just hope the Ashley and Mort stick with the idea when the going gets a bit choppy.

    Does anyone else think its ludicrous when people say Ashley should take off the Toon shirt and start fixing things in his suit?
    Leave him alone. Give him 2 hours a week to let his hair down.

  • Geoff Forster

    Feb 5, 2008 at 12:30 PM

    Comment #29

    Great Article, sites like this and my own depend on a few people clicking on sponsored links if you see something interesting.

    Please do this I always try to.

    Howay the lads

  • Mr T

    Feb 5, 2008 at 12:34 PM

    Comment #30

    There’s not enough kids who get real experience though, ship them out on loan, get a feeder club or two (other than Norwich) and give them real experience play in league 1 or the championship. Competitive football over reserve team football anyday, send scouts to look over them as well as look for other talents. makes sense to me!

  • john marshall

    Feb 5, 2008 at 8:03 PM

    Comment #31

    my worry is will we be still in the premiership next season.


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