News today that Newcastle will have a scouting delegation at the Toulon tournament in France.
Chris Hughton and Colin Calderwood – great duo at Newcastle
Newcastle chief scout Graham Carr, who has racked up a number of miles in his scouting duties this year, and is now in France for the opening days of the competition.
The tournament, which is officially called the Tournoi Espoirs de Toulon, is not sanctioned by either UEFA or FIFA, will this year feature Under-20 sides from France, the Ivory Coast, Japan, Colombia, Chile, Denmark, Qatar and Russia. Chile are the reigning Champions.
The teams are split into two groups of four with the top two in each group reaching the semi-finals, and the games are split into two 40 minute halves.
This year’s tournament, which is the 38th in its history started on May 18th and will conclude on May 27th.
It was in the summer of 2008 that a Newcastle delegation first spotted Sebastien Bassong, who at that time was playing for the France U21 side at Toulon.
And Newcastle signed him for £500K, after a week’s trial on Tyneside with Kevin Keegan, and the rest is history.
The Journal is reporting that indeed the Newcastle delegation, which included Dennis Wise, were not too impressed with Seb, but they later found out he was playing with an injury in the tournament.
Bassong will next season be playing in the European Champions League with Tottenham, of course, after leaving Newcastle last summer.
The tournament is also a meeting place for coaches to discuss things each season, and it’s these type of tournaments that Newcastle will be scouring in the future, in the hopes of unearthing players like Seb Bassong.
In our view Newcastle should have been beefing up their scouting staff and focusing on Youth years and years ago, but it’s good the club has at least made a decent start over the last two years.