One of Newcastle’s 16 year-olds is interviewed in the Evening Chronicle today.
Esteban Cardona Lopez – 16 year-old Columbian at Newcastle
16-year-old midfielder Esteban Cardona Lopez arrived at Newcastle seven years ago, after being spotted playing for Wallsend boys club.
And it turns out his parents brought him over to England back in 2003, looking for a better life than they could get in Columbia, although the coffee’s good there.
This is what Esteban had to say:
“My mam and dad moved to England for a better future.” “I come from a small town near Bogota. My mother came from a poor background so they decided to come here.”
“They waited until I could move and this is turning out to be it.” “They brought me here for a better future.” “I have been here and have a Geordie accent now, it’s a great city.”
“I’ve lived in Newcastle for seven years, I lived in London before that for one year.” “I used to play for Wallsend Boys Club, where Alan Shearer came from.”
“I was scouted from there.” “That was at Under-12 level and I came for a trial with Newcastle, and after two months they got me the contract.”
“It’s a big club and I love it here, the facilities are great.” “The coaches help me a lot and look after me really well.”
It really amazes us how young these lads are scouted these days, which is not like in the olden days, when you had to be around 15 years-old before a scout would come to talk to you.
And Esteban came to meet a very famous Columbian who played for Newcastle, in those famous Kevin Keegan days in the 1990s, a certain Faustino (Tino) Asprilla, and the striker has already given the youngster some advice.
The 16 year-old continued:
“I met Tino Asprilla once as he came to visit the Academy. We had a chat about how I can progress. Hopefully, I can follow in his footsteps.”
“It has been frustrating for me because I’ve been getting a niggling injuries with my hamstring. I haven’t been able to show what I can do this season.
“But I’m a creative technical player, I like to give other players chances.” “When you are at the Academy you are thinking that hopefully one day you can be out there.”
“It gives you more of a buzz. It’s great watching the first team as you know you could be there one day.” “That’s the good thing about this club.”
“You see Sammy Ameobi and Shane Ferguson coming through and getting their chance.” “It gives us an inspiration and hope that we can work hard and get in the team.”
One great thing about Newcastle is that the youngsters are a very important part of the club, and we really look forward to seeing some of them become top first team players at Newcastle – that’s the goal anyway.
Lopez has made just one appearance for the Newcastle Under-18 side, but his hopes are high that he can make it, as he sees players like Sammy, Shane and James Tavernier and Haris Vuckic looking to make the grade in the Newcastle first team.
We wish Esteban the very best in his career at Newcastle United, and we’d love to see this lad starring in the first team in the seasons ahead.
Over to you Esteban.