Adam Campbell finally got on in the game last night and became the youngest player ever to play for Newcastle in Europe, beating Andy Carroll’s record, when the 17 year-old made his competitive debut for the Magpies last night in Athens, Greece, , and he again looked sharp and very quick in the final minutes of the game.
Adam Campbell congratulates goalkeeper Itandje after the game
Adam gives Newcastle something different up front, and it seems he will get some playing time in the European games this season, if only as a second half substitute, and he did have one decent chance last night, when he was put through in the inside right position by the impressive new boy, Vurnon Anita, but was forced wide and eventually his shot was straight at goalkeeper Charles Itandje.
Adam knew on Tuesday that he was going to be in the squad that traveled to Greece, and while the lads were a little lackadaisical in defense at times last night, it was a very decent performance against Atromitos with what essentially was a Newcastle second team, with only James Perch and Papiss Cisse starting the game after starting the first league of the season against Tottenham last Saturday.
The North Shields-born striker was simply buzzing in his hotel room after the game, when he was interviewed for the Newcastle web-site, and here’s what he had to say:
“It’s not a trip many people fancy, all the way down there on the bus!” “It’s crazy, really, to think about it. You think about playing for Newcastle and you don’t really think about what kind of games you’re going to be playing in.”
“When you’re young, you just think Premiership games at St. James’ but when it comes to the reality of it and you’re actually out there – it’s not just for myself, getting a personal thing, but for Newcastle as a club being back in Europe it was a big thing for them, a big thing for us and to be a part of it and to have my own little record as well as that is just great to have.”
“It’s brilliant. I can’t really put into words how much it means to me. Just for Newcastle to be in Europe means a lot, then to be involved means a lot, and then to actually have my own record… you can’t describe it. It’s amazing.” “I’ve been reading about it quite a lot recently.”
“It was something I definitely wanted to do but it was just an experience to come anyway. If I hadn’t played, if I hadn’t been in the squad, it wouldn’t have mattered. Like I say, it’s just good that Newcastle are back in Europe and we’ve got a good result to take back to our stadium.”
“I just wanted to get my top on as soon as I could.” . “I was thinking ‘right, next time it’s out I’m on’ and then it went out and the fourth official wasn’t ready and then it went out again and the referee wasn’t ready and then it went out again and they took it quickly!”
“So by the next time, when I was actually going to get on, the ball didn’t go out for absolutely ages. It seemed like a lifetime but it was just good to get on – and looking back at it, you can laugh about how long it took!” “That’s obviously your dream; you play for Newcastle and you want to score for Newcastle.”
“I think it was quite a good chance. Vurn, you saw through the game how technically gifted he is and he just found that ball perfectly and then my touch let me down – which is a shame, really, because the way I’ve been playing recently my touch has been quite good.” “But never mind, it happens.”
“My family couldn’t get the time off and the flights and everything were too expensive.” ”I think many fans found that, when they were looking to book flights the prices were just horrendous with your flight and your ticket and the hotel on top.” “But I was straight on the phone to my mam when I got on the bus and then on Skype with them later on so they’re just as buzzing as me.”
“That’s because as long as I’ve dreamed of it, they’ve dreamed of it. And I couldn’t be here without them so I owe them pretty much everything.” “And they’ll definitely be there at the next game whether I’m in the squad or not. All the family go to the games so we’ll all be there one way or another – but obviously it’d be nice to get in the squad again.”
It seems the Geordie lad is certainly living his dream, and we have a hunch that Adam will come through this season on Tyneside, because he does give Newcastle something different from what the big strikers - Papiss Cisse, Demba Ba and Shola Ameobi - give to the side.
But Alan Pardew will also not rush this lad, and the regular games which he needs to develop, will continue to be with the Newcastle U21 side, who are playing in the new Premier League for U21 sides this season for the first time.
Adam Campbell is living his dream alright on Tyneside, and he’s a diamond in the rough at the moment, but he looks so much like a young Michael Owen, that he could well have a huge future at Newcastle.
We think he will.
You can also reach Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org