It was good to hear that Newcastle last week were pursuing two promising 18 year-olds.
Vegar Eggen Hedenstad – Newcastle interested
We broke the news last week that Newcastle had signed 18 year-old Fahoe Islands Forward Jóhan Símun Edmundsson, and the Sunday Sun yesterday had a nice piece on him, quoting the Faroe Islands manager Brian Kerr, who certainly seems to rate the youngster.
And yesterday we heard that the club was also interested in a promising Norwegian defender, Vegar Eggen Hedenstad, another 18 year-old who plays ion either full back position, and currently plays for Stabæk in Norway.
We’ve had a couple of comments this morning from some Norwegian readers, suggesting this guy is a wonder kid – so that’s good – and he’s also a Newcastle United supporter since he was a kid, so that’s also promising.
The one (maybe the only) thing Mike Ashley has done well at Newcastle since he came in June, 2007, was to reinvigorate the Newcastle United Youth Policy.
In January of 2007, we signed five top class youngsters, three of which were Tamas Kadar, Ben Tozer and Ole Soderberg, and they are all progressing well at the club, and Tamas and Ben have already appeared in the first team.
Other top youngsters we have at the club right now include 18 year-old Nile Ranger – seemingly a future star in the making, Aaron Spear, Haris Vuckic, James Tavernier, Jak Alnick, Samuel Adjei, Brad Inamn, Shane Ferguson, Michael McCrudeen, Philip Airey, Patrick McLaughlin and a number of others.
The vast majority of these lads are part of the current Youth Academy, but Alan Thompson has also given them their chance in the Newcastle Reserve side.
And we saw last week, the lads are through to the quarter finals of the FA Youth Cup, after hammering West Ham at Upton Park 3-0 in a terrific display.
So it would appear that we will continue to focus on bringing in top youngsters to the club, including the best local lads, and that will help the club produce some future stars that we literally pay very little for.
Right now Nile Ranger, Tamas Kadar and Haris Vuckic are very good bets to be first team regulars within a couple of seasons.
And good news today that the club has confirmed the appointment of Graham Carr as the club’s new chief scout.
The official announcement on the Newcastle web-site tells us that Corbridge-born Carr played in the 1960s (didn’t we all) with clubs like Northampton Town, whom he later managed, and York City.
The 65-year-old has been scouting for clubs including Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City and Notts County – so it’s good that the club seems to be strengthening the global scouting network.
That will allow us to bring in unknown players such as Sebastien Bassong, for next to nothing, and then make them into top Premier League players.
Although we couldn’t hold onto Sebastien because of our relegation last season, and sold him to Spurs, we made a handy £8M profit on him in just 10 months.
This is the way forward at Newcastle, and we are just delighted we are seeing signs that Newcastle are indeed investing in both Youth Development and the world-wide scouting network.
This will pay off big time for us in the future, and we look forward to bringing in additional young talent during the summer.
Comments very welcome.