No we didn’t just make up that headline.
It was a comment by Adrian Heath, the manager of Orlando City, who Newcastle will play on their American tour.
Adrian hearth – Orlando City manager
Adrian Heath played for eight different clubs during his career and played mostly for Stoke City, Everton, Manchseter City and Burnley.
Adrian then started his management career back in 1996, and he managed Burnley, Sheffield United and was caretaker manager at Coventry City.
Adrian then moved stateside in 2008 to manage the USL-1 expansion team, Aztex FC, based in Austin, Texas.
Adrian was also a former member of Peter Reid’s Sunderland coaching staff, so has worked in the North East.
Adrian spoke to the Newcastle Journal recently and talked about the upcoming friendly when Newcastle play Orlando City.
Adrian had this to say, and some flattering words for Newcastle:
“First and foremost we are looking forward to the game, and playing against one of the biggest clubs in the world in only our second year of existence is a major achievement.”
“We are going to be three quarters of the way through our season by the time it comes around. In terms of match fitness and sharpness there will be no issues at all, and the lads are all looking forward giving Newcastle a strong test.”
“There are a lot of considerations when you are planning an overseas tour, but America ticks the boxes in pretty much every one of those,” “On things like climate, facilities, food and language then it has the advantage over the Far East, and with the travelling time being a bit less as well you can see why more and more teams are coming over here for pre-season now.”
“It might not be as lucrative as the Far East, but as somebody who has toured Asia as a player myself, the stifling humidity you often get over there at this time of year really doesn’t do much for your preparations from either a conditioning or footballing point of view.”
“There is nothing quite like leaving home and going on the road with your team-mates for a couple of weeks, and it really helps to cement the spirit in the squad,” “When I was a player we always did a bit of touring, but not to the extent that sides seem to be doing nowadays.”
“We went to the Far East, Australia and New Zealand with Everton, but it seemed to die out for a time and has only just came back in the last decade or so.” “It is the first time that you get to know people really well, being on the road, and the manager will maybe allow the boys out together for a few beers when the time is right.”
“That is all good for the camaraderie going into the new season, but they will have three tough games out here as well.” “Everybody wants to try and grow their brand in the USA, because it is a really lucrative emerging market for the Premiership.
“If you take Chelsea as an example, by coming here for the last four years in a row they have developed a stronger American presence and fan base, and I am sure that Newcastle will have half an eye on that. From our own point of view at Orlando City it is a huge coup to get a club of Newcastle’s stature over here, and we are expecting what they are – a top-class outfit.”
“When you look at their squad there is a lot of quality there with the likes of Fabricio Coloccini, Joey Barton and José Enríque to name three and they have new signings who they will be looking to add into that.”
The American tour should be a good one, and it gives the Newcastle a chance to get some good publicity stateside.
With the Premier League games being shown live over here for the last several years, there will be a growing interest in football (soccer) over here, and we think some excellent youngsters will be coming through in America.
If you think back ten to fifteen years ago, there were very few, if any, Americans playing in the English leagues, but there are a lot more now, and that will only increase, and probably quite significantly in the years ahead.