Nile Ranger arrived on Tyneside just 12 months ago as an unknown 17 year-old, after being released by Southampton, and he had already been in some juvenile trouble with the authorities.
Nile Ranger – will take his chance when it comes
But fast forward 12 months and Nile is one of the most exciting young prospects at the Tyneside club, and has matured and demonstrated a tremendous attitude at Newcastle, a club he immediately took to.
Newcastle took a chance on him when he was quietly signed last year, but with great coaching from Richard Money and the Academy staff, Ranger has come on in leaps and bounds and is already an England U19 International, with an exciting future.
Money’s job is not only to coach and bring along the young players at the club, but to ensure they are well looked after, as they are in that period where good role models and good direction are important to them.
And the future for Nile could get a fast start this season, with Newcastle so short of players.
Ranger believes he is ready to show the Geordie fans what he can do, and the Wood Green, London- born 18 year-old made his Newcastle debut at West Brom two weeks ago, and made his first home appearance last Wednesday, against he Owls.
The sticky plaster on Nile’s eyebrow above, was from a collision in the Owls game, but he is in the squad for today’s game at Crystal Palace.
The promising 6’2″ striker said this morning:
“Whenever you get the chance you have to grab it with both hands.” “My aims this year are to have a lot of opportunities for the first team.”
“I just need to work hard, stay on my toes and stay level-headed – that is so important for any young player.” “When that chance arrives I will be looking to take it.”
“To see Andy Carroll and Shola Ameobi doing so well for the first team is important to me.” “It shows me what can be achieved and I would love to follow in their footsteps, play regularly and score goals in a Newcastle shirt.”
“Shola is buzzing at the moment and he deserves it.” “To grab four goals in three games is a great ratio.”
“Shola is great to work with, always encouraging, and lets me know when to release the ball and stuff.”
“He will tell me when to go and when to stay and advises me on my movement.” “I am not afraid to look up to him.”
It’s good to hear that Shola is helping the young lads, as he becomes one of the more experienced players at Newcastle these days – amazing isn’t it.
Although Ranger’s first team experience is just a couple of games so far, he is pleased with his progress, and wants more:
“I did not expect to go on at West Brom, but I was told for the last few minutes ‘get off the bench you are coming on.”
“I was told go on there and make sure you defend set-pieces, so I went on and gave it my all.”
“It was a great start for us at West Brom it gave everybody some confidence.”
“Then to come on against Sheffield Wednesday was brilliant for me because my whole family came to watch me.
“To make my home debut for six minutes was brilliant and it meant the world to me.”
There’ something uplifting and positive about a young lad who has put his life in order on Tyneside, and that’s just one reason we are big fans of this youngster.
Certainly the lad has that positive attitude needed to be a successful professional footballer, and we’d be surprised if Ranger doesn’t play quite a few games for the side this year as he matures into a top striker.
The club is in a terrible state right now,, but Nile and some of our other tremendous youngsters provide a bit of sunlight on Tyneside, as we wonder what’s going to happen to our club.
We hope Nile does play a good few games this season as he improves further, and that first goal for the senior team cannot be too far away.
Maybe even today. 😀