Newcastle’s Youth Academy seems to be getting better and better.
John Carver – former Youth Academy Director
Mike Ashley comes in for a lot of criticism from Newcastle fans, but the one thing that he did when he came in, which will bear fruit for Newcastle in the future, is pouring millions of pounds into the Youth Academy.
There are a number of players who have come through the Academy, including Andy Carroll and Tim Krul, but there are now players like Haris Vuckic, Shane Ferguson, Sammy Ameobi and others coming through.
John Carver is a former Academy Director at Newcastle, and he knows more than most,about what it takes to have a good Academy at the club.
John has been doing the interview duties for the club for the last day or so while Alan Pardew is presumably away scouting on some targets, and he had this to say today:
“I think you can see the change in culture at the club,” “We now have a person in our Academy doing the same thing that our senior scouting team does.”
“They’re looking for young talent just as we’re looking for players to buy – they’re doing that full-time.” “At the youngster level, the most important thing when you’re scouting is you look after your own area.”
“It feels if we’re going in the right direction there but it’s also about whether we can be competitive further afield. There’s no reason why we can’t compete with Manchester United, Arsenal and the rest.”
“Why can’t we attract top young players? We’ve got great facilities, coaches and set-up. If you do that you might just get a step on Manchester United.”
Through the ages Newcastle have lost out on some top north-east players and one that immediately comes to mind is Bobby Charlton, who of course was born and bred in Ashington, and joined the Manchester United Youth Academy on January 1st. 1953 when he was just 15 years old.
Charlton’s family were related to the famous footballing Milburn family, and the legendary Jackie Milburn was Bobby’s mother’s cousin.
Of course Bobby went on to play for the famous Busby Babes, and survived the terrible Munich air disaster on 6th February, 1958 when he was just 20 years old.
Bobby went on to play for Manchester United 758 times with 249 goals, and for England 106 times with 49 goals, which is still a record nunmber of goals for England.
And of course he was in the famous England side that smashed Germany 4-2 after extra time, to win the World Cup in 1966.
That’s a game I will always remember, and my Dad and I had the vodka out to celebrate winning it 2-1, but would you believe it, Germany equalized through Wolfgang Weber in the 89th minute.
But we all know that Karl-Heinz Schnellinger handled the ball before the goal, but yes – the referee didn’t see it.
But them of course Jeff Hurst scored two goals in extra time, got a hat-trick, and saw England to their famous victory.
And that famous last goal, when some England supporters ran onto the pitch just before Jeff scored, the commentator Kenneth Wolstenholme made the famous comment:
“They think it’s over – it is now}
as Jeff smashed home his third goal.
Oh the memories, and I’m not even sure how I got into that.