It’s good to get some information about how Newcastle are looking for new talent to bring to Newcastle United.
Mike Ashley – investing heavily in scouting network
Mike Ashley visited the Benton training grounds a week last Thursday, and he has said he will put another £15M into the scouting for young talent, and one of the new people brought in to do that is Mick Tait.
Tait is now in a new role at the club, where he reports to the head of recruitment Steve Nixon, and basically his role is to look for any late developers in the game.
Mick was born in Wallsend and played for Wallsend Boys Club before going on to play for eight different clubs, that included Carlisle United and Portsmouth. as well as local clubs like Darlington and Hartlepool.
The 55 year-old has also managed a number of clubs including Hartlepool, Darlington and recently Blyth Spartans.
So Mick has the experience and knowledge to know a good player when he sees one, and seems perfectly skilled to join the scouting ranks at Newcastle.
Some players don’t come good until their late teens or even beyond that, for one reason or another, and it seems that Newcastle want to ensure that none of these late developing players escape their grasp, as many have done in the past.
Tait will concentrate mainly on 16 to 19-year-olds, but if he finds some older players coming through, that’s good as well.
Tait has talked to the Sunday Sun today about his job, and he had this to say:
“What I’ve been asked to do is look for late-developers, mainly 16 to 19-year-olds, and if I see anything in senior football above that, who I think could do a job, then to report on them as well.”
“It’s mainly lads who clubs thought were going to be players, but for one reason or another didn’t develop quickly enough, whether it’s physically or mentally.”
“There are a lot of players in those brackets at 15 and 16, who don’t get kept on at clubs, but who develop later.” “It’s difficult for them because once they drop out of the academy system, less training means they might drop away technically, but that can come back.”
“It’s about spotting and bringing the right ones back.” “There are one or two who’ve come into the game late.” “A good example is how Peterborough United recruited from non-league a couple of years ago, and won consecutive promotions.”
“They paid a little bit of money for lads 18 to 22, 23, and they were really decent players.” “Obviously, that’s not Premier League level, but the principle is the same.” “The other side is mental development. Lads can feel they’re not good enough, they’re in awe of others around them.”
“As a scout and a coach, you know they’re good enough, but they don’t believe it themselves.” “They might be players who need to go away and take a couple more years to look around and realize that they are good enough.” “Then they start to play, and my job is to find people like that.
“They’ll be few and far between, clubs don’t miss many. But there’ll be someone at some time. It’s a case of being aware of every kid that’s about.” “Yes, it’s about personal judgement and mistakes will be made.” “But we have to make sure there are fewer than there has been in the past.
“The best local talent should want to come to Newcastle United, and we have to make that happen, make it the place to be.”
One of the very best things Mike Ashley has done since buying Newcastle in the summer of 2007 is to invest in two things – youth development and the scouting network – and we have seen that strategy bear fruit lately.
And we have high hopes that Newcastle will bring in some good buys in the summer transfer window, and even if they are not well known names, we know they have been scouted well and could become excellent acquisitions like Cheick Tiote and Yohan Cabaye to name but two.
Newcastle’s scouting business seems to be rapidly becoming one of the best in the business, and that must auger well for the future of the club.