Midfielder Joey Barton and his new French colleague Yohan Cabaye have travelled with the Reserve team squad earlier this week to Holland for their three game tour.
Michael Richardson – hoping for breakthrough season
That’s after both of them had been denied US visas, although the news yesterday was that Cabaye’s finally came through.
So we’re not quite sure why he will not now travel to the US, especially as Ben Arfa and Haris Vuckic have both been injured over here, and Ben Arfa will return to Newcastle tomorrow for treatment on his injured left ankle.
The presence of both players will be a big help to the youngsters in the Development squad, and certainly manager Peter Beardsley seems delighted to have them along.
That’s certainly true for local lad 19-year-old Michael Richardson, who only a year ago was as an electrician for the Newcastle City Council and playing for the Walker Central team.
Michael got a trial last summer at Newcastle, and has never looked back, and was on the bench for the last few games of the season, when Newcastle were hit by injuries to many of their senior players.
Unfortunately the same thing seems to be happening in pre-season.
Michael is one of the many bright young players hoping to make a breakthrough at Newcastle next season, although with new midfield players in Marveaux, Cabaye and Mehdi Abeid, who is even younger than Michael, it makes it all a little harder – but there again there’s nothing quite like competition to bring the best out of players.
This is what Richardson told the Newcastle Journal today:
“It makes it harder, but it’s also good for us as well because it’s good to learn from them. “
“They have come in and they are different kinds of players and the more and more we train with them, the more we are going to be better for it.
“We are playing against better players, so it’s only going to help our progression.”
Richardson is now part of the first team squad, although he didn’t make the trip to America, and it will be interesting to see if the lad stays on Tyneside next season, or if Alan Pardew elects to send him out on loan to some other club.
“I just have to keep working hard in the reserves first, keep playing games and hopefully play to the best of my ability to impress Willie and Pete.”
“Then if they see something, they will obviously tell first-team coach Steve Stone or assistant manager John Carver or the gaffer, and hopefully I will be pushed in.”
Michael still has to make his Newcastle first team debut, but we have to hope that some of our teenagers like Michael, Haris Vuckic, James Tavernier, Shane Ferguson and Phil Airey, as just five examples, come through big time next season, to bolster the paper-thin Newcastle squad.