Ryan Donaldson was still a schoolboy at St Cuthberts High School in Newcastle when he made his reserve team debut on 24 January 2007 at Wigan.
Ryan Donaldson – will get his chance
The Geordie teenager, who has captained the reserve side so far this season, is now playing attacking midfield and has already represented the England U17 side.
But Ryan can also play striker, and with Newcastle short of strikers (and most other positions), Chris Hughton is ready to give Ryan his chance up front.
Other local lads Andy Carroll and Shola Ameobi have been leading the line so far this season, with Spanish U21 Xisco and England U19 Nile Ranger just behind them in the pecking order.
Hughton talked to the Chronicle today about young 18 year-old Donaldson:
“Ryan certainly has the grounding to play up front.” “At this moment, I see him very much as an attacking midfield player.
“He has been very good in the first-team group in that position.” “Because of his grounding, though, never say never – and if there was a possibility to play up him front that option is there.”
With as many as 10 departures from the club so far this summer, the youngsters have moved up the pecking order at Newcastle.
And it’s not only Donaldson who could get game son a regular basis this season and of course Nile Ranger has already been handed appearances against West Brom and Sheffield Wednesday.
18 year-old Kazenga LuaLua came on against Reading – and Hungarian defender Tamas Kadar, now 19 years-old, is well poised to be given his chance in central defense and looked solid in pre-season.
“I am quite sure the time will soon come for the likes of Nile Ranger, Kazenga, Tamas Kadar and probably Ryan Donaldson.”
“They are probably the four young ones who have been the most consistent in the pre-season period.”
“I would imagine during the season there will be opportunities for them.”
If they do get their chance then the advice of Chris is very simple:
“Patience and then taking that opportunity are the key phrases.” “If the opportunities arise, you have to make sure you continue to do well enough to warrant that opportunity.”
“That is all you can ask for from any young player.” “If you do not train well and push, that is sometimes invariably when an opportunity comes about.”
With our very small squad we’ll need a couple or three of our youngsters to come through big time this season.
If they can do that, and we can remain injury free – which we’ve never been able to do in living memory – that will be good news for the club.
Good news that all Newcastle fans need right now.