Steve Harper is Newcastle’s longest-serving player and he joined the club in 1993 and although he played second fiddle to the great Shay Given for many seasons, he still has 175 total appearances for his home town club.
Steve Harper – new players will arrive
Steve has come out today and said it’s obvious that squad improvements are needed this summer if Newcastle are to compete well in the Premiership next season.
This is what Steve said this morning:
“It is a no brainer really,” “We have to bring players in this summer. We need them.” “You can’t go from the Championship to the Premier League without strengthening the squad.”
“I’m sure the manager is trying to get the players we need and hopefully we’ll have some new faces in by the time we play our first top-flight game.”
“I don’t know what the financial situation is, but as I understand it we are trying to bring in new players and that is vital if we are going to hold our own next season.”
Steve is a very solid character and one of the players who was paramount last summer in turning the club around, and working closely with Newcastle coaches Chris Hughton and Colin Calderwood to build the great team spirit that now exists in the squad.
And Steve is not too concerned that no signings have yet been made, since the summer transfer window still has some months to go before it slams shut at the end of August and we’re right in the middle of the World Cup too.
“It’s always the same when there is a major championship on. You always expect things to happen straight away, but it doesn’t work like that.”
“There will be a few bargains to be had from the World Cup and everybody will be waiting to see if they can spot one.” “Then there is the fact everyone in football is either distracted by the tournament or on holiday.”
“What tends to happen is, the teams come back for the start of pre-season training and managers assess what they have got, what they need and what they want to get rid of.”
“I’m sure that will be the case this summer. It tends to snowball from the start of July onwards and I hope that proves to be the case at Newcastle.”
“Nobody has done much business so far and it should all start to speed up a bit in three weeks time when the players start to filter back to their clubs.”
Harper has already completed a family holiday in America this summer, a country that seems to have been popular with Newcastle players – well at least there’s lots of sun over here – it was 93 degrees Fahrenheit again in Raleigh. NC yesterday.
And the 35 year-old will start the pre-season training on July 5th with the Newcastle squad, and as Steve says – when you get older it doesn’t get any easier – or as my wife Madeline puts it – “getting old sucks.”
“I never look forward to the start of pre-season training because it is hard work and doesn’t get any easier as you get older.”
“However, once you get back and see all the lads again it’s good fun and that’s what I’m looking forward to. I’ve had a good break so far and I’ve got a few weeks left.”
“I’ll start to do some fitness work before I go back and hopefully that will help me a bit when the training starts properly.”
As Newcastle fans have seen this morning from the just released PL fixture list for next season – it seems a completely different world in the Premiership than the Championship – and we have some very tough games coming up – starting on August 14th at Manchester United – would you believe it.