Ben Tozer signed a 4.5 year deal at Newcastle on January 7th, and was the very first teenager into the club of the 5 top youngsters we signed during the January transfer window.
Ben Tozer – just after signing for the famous Magpies
Benâ€™s move to Newcastle could end up netting Swindon Â£1.1M, depending on how the boy turns out at Newcastle. Both Everton and Portsmouth were after the youngster and Ben had a trial at Everton before Newcastle moved in and signed the youngster.
Ben Tozer was born in March, 1990 in Plymouth and began his career as a youth player at his local club Plymouth Argyle. Then former Argyle youth coach David Byrne, persuaded the Tozer family to allow Ben to join him at Swindon Town.
The Devon born defender signed for Swindon just last summer, along with fellow Argyle youngster Ben Joyce.. He managed six first team games for Swindon before Newcastle swooped for him last month and he became the first of 5 top class teenagers the club signed last month.
Ben Tozer training at our Benton training facility
After Tozer signed for Newcastle, the 17-year-old told the local newspaper at Swindon that the size of the squad, the scale of the set-up at St James’ Park and the passion of the Newcastle supporters had all taken him aback.
Shortly after Ben arrived Sam Allardyce was sacked and that saddened Tozer, but he has already had good encouragement from Sir Bobby Robson on his induction day at St James’ Park, and the great Uncle Bobby told him to “work hard and you’ll be alright.”
Tozer told the Wiltshire Herald Sport shortly after signing for Newcastle:
“My head has been in the clouds since I came to Newcastle – it’s a dream move for me, no question.â€ “It’s a fantastic opportunity for me and an absolutely brilliant club to join.â€
“It’s awesome, really, nothing prepares you for the difference, with all due respect, to Swindon and Plymouth.â€ “I was pretty shocked and saddened at Mr. Allardyce leaving – he seems a really nice man and had been very supportive of me.â€
“He (Allardyce) put me at my ease and joked that I’d need to beef up as I’m still growing so weight-wise I’m not as big as I need to be.” “So, I spent my first day proper training with the club, mostly in the weights room.”
“But I’ve also trained with some of the first-team players which was incredible – they are fantastic players.” “However, I’m not going to show them too much respect in practice matches – I’ll be looking to make sure I’m the one who wins the ball.”
“But, to be honest, when you see the quality of the reserves side, it just shows how far I’ve got to go.” “I watched us play Sunderland reserves and there were about 1,000 fans at the stadium – the atmosphere was unbelievable.”
“I feel really privileged to be given this chance.” “But I owe so much to Paul Sturrock, John Blackley and Dave Byrne for their help and support at Swindon and for believing in me.”
“I’d like to give them a big thank you from me and my family.”
Swindon manager Byrne, who worked with Ben at both Plymouth Argyle and Swindon Town, predicted a tremendous future for Tozer:
“I told his mum and dad when I signed him that he’d go a long way – and he’s already started out on that journey now.â€
“I think he’ll be playing for Newcastle sooner than they (his parents) think and if he keeps progressing, he’ll play for England.”
Both Swindon and Plymouth Argyle are rightly proud of their youngster, and Newcastle United are also delighted to have Ben on board. He is the only Englishman of the 5 teenagers signed, so that makes him a little special to us.
Thereâ€™s no limit to what Ben can achieve at Newcastle but he should definitely take note of what Bobby Robson has told him â€“ â€œwork hard and you’ll be alrightâ€ We are all very aware that Bobby Robson knows exactly what heâ€™s talking about in football.
We are very pleased to welcome Ben Tozer to Newcastle United, and wish him the very best of luck for the future.