Steve Harper Still Playing After All These Years

Newcastle United’s 35 year-old goalkeeper Steve Harper has no regrets about remaining at the Tyneside club for all of his career.

Steve Harper – at Newcastle 17 years

Harper joined Newcastle from Seaham Red Star in 1993 as a youth player, and has been at the club ever since, and was on the bench for most of Shay Given’s 468 first team appearances for Newcastle.

But since Shay Given got fed up with the antics of Mike Ashley in early 2009, and left for big money at Manchester City, has allowed the local lad the chance to play regular football, and that’s what he’s done and now has a total of 173 appearances for Newcastle and 227 in total.

Harper played in all 46 Championship games last term, except the last one at QPR, where Tim Krul started, and Steve will want to keep the number one spot at the club for as long as possible – but he will be pushed hard by our two impressive 22 year-old youngsters, Tim Krul and Fraser Forster.

This is what Steve said today:

“People asked my why I hung around,””This is why I stayed, to play for this huge club in the Premier League. I’m hoping to do that this year. I won’t take anything for granted.”

“I know that we have got two fantastic young goalkeepers behind me who are inexperienced, but champing at the bit for an opportunity.”

“It’s up to me to work hard and get myself as fit and sharp as possible for the season ahead.”

“My sole ambition for the next few weeks is to get myself in the best condition to hopefully start the first game at Old Trafford,”

“If I can get myself in top condition and do well, hopefully that means the club will do well. Anything else is out of my hands.”

Newcastle’s opening game of the season is at Old Trafford and will be televised live around the world – including in the US – and that game could set the tone for  the season at Newcastle.

We want to see the lads fight like crazy in that game, but we’ll see how we match up in terms of quality, which is still a bit of a concern, quite honestly.

There is certain anxiety on Tyneside, that the club may again be involved in a relegation scrap, and of course William Hill has made us 5th favorites to be relegated – but we hope we can stay above the relegation fray next season – but we’ll see.

Chris is also favorite to be the first PL manager sacked next season – and we certainly hope that doesn’t happen.

Steve continued:

“People talk about the daunting first game, but every player and member of staff worked their socks off last year to get this set of fixtures in the Premier League.””If we have a positive pre-season, with very few injuries, hopefully we’ll go to Old Trafford in top condition and full of confidence.”

Of course staying up has not been made any easier by the lack of any  significant funds this summer, but if anybody can get some good deals done – it’s Chris – and we have increasing confidence in this man to get the job done this summer.

Well we hope so anyway. 😀

If he isn’t successful you cannot blame his work ethic, because the word out of the club is that this man is a workaholic, and  doing everything possible this summer to ensure Newcastle are still in the PL in 12 months time.

If he can do that then next season will have been a success.

Comments welcome.