Newcastle Were After This Top Youngster Four Years Ago


Ray Gooding used to be a Recruitment Director at Coventry City, but he was made redundant in 2008, and joined the Newcastle United Academy under the then manager Richard Money, and Richard asked him if there were any good youngsters at Coventry.

Gael Bigirimana turned 19 on Monday

Ray came up with Gael Bigirimana’s name, and the player at the time was just 15, and finally last summer Newcastle signed Gael for about 1M after Coventry were relegated from the Championship.

So it seems we knew about Gael for quite some time before we singed him.

Ray has acted as the Burundi-born youngster’s mentor, and he has been interviewed in the Newcastle Journal today:

“He’s the nicest lad you could possibly meet. Bigi will probably kill me for saying this but he rang me in the summer to tell me he’d passed his driving test.”

“Coventry had a tie-up with Peugeot, so he was asking me for a bit of advice and he let slip that he had only passed on his 15th test! Fifteen times! I said I couldn’t believe it, I was in stitches. I’ve never heard of that.”

“He’s that kind of kid, though. He gets everyone laughing, he’s a real larger-than-life character. He was one of the youngest in the group at Coventry but he wasn’t out of place – and I’m sure it is the same at Newcastle.”

“I came in with Richard Money at Newcastle and he asked me if there was anyone at Coventry we should be looking at. Gaël’s name was the first one I raised.” “We looked into it and were really keen. We could have got him for practically nothing but it was a bit too complicated with the regulations as they were at the time.”

“He came in the end but we could have had him four years before.” “I have been involved in scouting for youth football for many years. I was involved in spotting Daniel Sturridge and have always said he’s the best I’ve ever seen.”

“But I’ll tell you, Gaël runs him a very, very close second. This boy has everything in his armoury to go to the very top – England and everything.” “He is still only 19 and I think he’s got some growing to do as well.”

“You can already see that he’s benefiting from working with Tioté, who is a top, top player. Newcastle have got an absolute gem.”

Bigi turned 19 only last Monday, so he still has a lot of time to come through at Newcastle, but we think this lad will be challenging for a first team starting position before the end of the season, if this lad’s as good as we think he is.

So far Bigirimana has played 9 times for the first team, and he’s likely to start tonight alongside Cheick Tiote, as the attacking central midfielder.

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13 comments so far

  • Santon03

    Oct 25, 2012 at 9:28 AM

    Comment #1

    Yellow card for Tiote vs Brugge, yes or no?

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  • jeff

    Oct 25, 2012 at 9:30 AM

    Comment #2

    15 times LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL

    0
  • Santon03

    Oct 25, 2012 at 9:30 AM

    Comment #3

    I wonder if there is betting for a player to get a yellow card or not in a game. What will be the odds on Tiote?

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  • Santon03

    Oct 25, 2012 at 9:34 AM

    Comment #4

    jeff

    I thought it was normal for teenagers, I heard most of them need more than 10 times to pass hehehehe

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  • Conaldo (The Wizard)

    Oct 25, 2012 at 9:35 AM

    Comment #5

    I think in the coming years we will see more players like tiote and bigi. Players specifically designed to play defensive midfield and break up the play from the increasingly skilful players coming into the league. When every team ends up with a player like tiote, I can guarantee that tiote will be up there with the best. Only then will the referees change and stop giving cards away for doing his job.

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  • Santon03

    Oct 25, 2012 at 9:40 AM

    Comment #6

    Conaldo

    It really depends on the ref, last night I watched Malaga vs Milan game, Kevin Constant did shoulder to shoulder challenge inside penalty box. He got yellow carded and the ref rewarded a penalty. Constant is not physical type, he is a left winger, but Spanish players loves to overreact and the ref bought it.

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  • Lachu

    Oct 25, 2012 at 9:43 AM

    Comment #7

    Bigi has played 9times .. thats just 2 short of what Xisco did in 4 years ha ha .. bigi is a great find tho

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  • jesperfuglsang

    Oct 25, 2012 at 9:43 AM

    Comment #8

    In England you have a problem when it comes to refereeing – there is simply no red line what so ever and it reminds us outside the UK of your FA!

    …shambolic!!!

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  • Lachu

    Oct 25, 2012 at 9:45 AM

    Comment #9

    Just loved the part where Tiote gets a yellow against Man utd .. Where he tries to tear apart his Tiote face mask to reveal his original identity as Pele 🙂

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  • jesperfuglsang

    Oct 25, 2012 at 9:52 AM

    Comment #10

    Santon…I didn’t see the incident, but if one of the players are in possesion then shoulder to shoulder are not allowed (no contact, it is not a contract sport) and then in this case it is a pen and a yellow card (or red depending on…)

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  • Graeme

    Oct 25, 2012 at 9:57 AM

    Comment #11

    Santon03@ 1 – is it not compulsory? lol

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  • Santon03

    Oct 25, 2012 at 10:02 AM

    Comment #12

    jesper

    He is not really in possesion, both were chasing the ball and both players were bumping. The difference was Constant was stronger or naive and Isco (i think) was acting like being shoved by a bull.

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  • Santon03

    Oct 25, 2012 at 10:02 AM

    Comment #13

    graeme

    heheh just betting game

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