The Newcastle Journal are reporting today that Newcastle United have made a change to their youth policy and will no longer sign players who are under eighteen years of age.
Ben Tozer – didn’t make it at Newcastle
Aaron Spear and Ben Tozer are two examples of Newcastle signing younger players, and at the time they arrived at Newcastle they were highly rated youngsters, but they just didn’t come through, and of course it is safer signing older teenagers, although it’s always a risk with youngsters.
Ben came from Swindon in January of 2008 and the now 22 year-old signed on full time at Northampton Town in the summer of last year, after a loan spell with them, and after his contract was not renewed on Tyneside.
And it seems that 19 year-old Spear is now at Icelandic club IBV.
Graham Carr joined Newcastle after these youngsters were signed, and maybe he would have a better idea of who the best young players are, but it seems like Gael Bigirimana, who has made a fantastic start to his Newcastle career, will be the youngsters that Newcastle will pay out money for to bring them to Tyneside.
Is it just me or is Gael rapidly approaching what Cheick Tiote can do for Newcatsle?Maybe within a year Bigirimana will be a first team starter, and he’s certainly a fantastic signing – thanks Graham.
And the good news on the Youth Academy front is that the club have made all the necessary improvements to qualify for Category One status under the new Elite Player Performance Plan introduced by the Premier League, and who also initiated the new U21 Premier League to try to assist player development at clubs.
It was a blow and an embarrassment that we didn’t make the top category at the first attempt as neighbors Middlesbrough and Sunderland did, but the club have made an excellent recovery – and that’s very good.
Wonder is Newcastle will sign any new players this January – with Haris Vuckic and Dan Gosling both injured last night at Villa Park that will further put a staring on the small Newcastle squad.