Profile Of A 16 Year-Old Columbian At Newcastle’s Academy

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.

Comments welcome.

13 comments so far

  • JackButler

    Feb 23, 2012 at 12:25 PM

    Comment #1

    Following in Tino’s footsteps could be dangerous as he did have a fetish for porn stars and AK47’s 🙂

  • Brutooon

    Feb 23, 2012 at 12:32 PM

    Comment #2

    i am not sure how many people remember Fastino Asprilla’s skills.

    Tino played like a “lazy” striker but he did success in the end product (goals and assist)

    Shola Ameobi try to follow that step but he is a shit version of Tino

  • Toon Tang

    Feb 23, 2012 at 12:45 PM

    Comment #3

    @jack – dont we all mate, dont we all

  • Rotonda heights

    Feb 23, 2012 at 12:46 PM

    Comment #4


    How do you manage to work shola in to every conversation?

    You must really be obsessed with the guy, it’s like you are almost stalking him.

  • GeordieDan

    Feb 23, 2012 at 12:49 PM

    Comment #5

    Just wanted to run something by everyone:

    What if we were to ask one of the businesses right next to St.James Park if we could put a huge sign on the roof of their building saying something like “St James Park here” with a big arrow pointing straight to the stadium?

    The point being that when the Sky helicopters go overhead on match days etc instead of them seeing the Sports Direct tacky signs every where they’ll see a giant sign stating the real name we’re so proud of.

    Ashley will be fuming and there’s nothing he could do about it (situation reversed for a change!). The council could back it and the business involved would get great publicity for back the local team.

    Is this worth pushing? I think it would be great.

  • Toon Tang

    Feb 23, 2012 at 12:53 PM

    Comment #6

    @geordie dan – he’d probs buy the business with the new signs and change them back haha

  • Scottishtoon95

    Feb 23, 2012 at 12:53 PM

    Comment #7

    JB – he’d have a fetish for scoring hatricks against barca 😉

  • GeordieDan

    Feb 23, 2012 at 1:00 PM

    Comment #8


    Ha , Probably. 😀

  • toonincheek

    Feb 23, 2012 at 1:56 PM

    Comment #9

    Jack – I’d be more worried about his hamstrings that porn stars and AK47s.

  • TinoToon

    Feb 23, 2012 at 3:07 PM

    Comment #10

    Oh what a surprise. i’m a Colombian Fan. Hope this lad can make it to the first team in few years.

  • Ruddy Marveaux-lous

    Feb 23, 2012 at 3:41 PM

    Comment #11

    Jesus Brutoon shut up. Just shut up.

  • davis_toons

    Feb 23, 2012 at 3:41 PM

    Comment #12

    Fastino Asprilla is one of my fav…is one of those that keep us entertain during our height’s.

    Remb those night’s of champion Leg football?…looks “rubber legs” but hell when he run’s at u..

    There’s no such player anymore…

  • raiiney

    Feb 23, 2012 at 3:49 PM

    Comment #13

    without trying to sound big headed, i actually know this guy, he used to go to a school right next to mine and was good mates with some people in my football team, ive actually played a few times against him and hes got great feet, very similar to Ben arfa, can be frustrating at times but has the ability to produce some magic, Esty could be the next big thing, time will tell!


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