Newcastle Make Big Changes To Their Failing Youth Policy

There is a new book about football in the North East that was published back in August ‘Up There’ – by journalist Michael Walker – and the book has been mentioned in a story in the Journal today by Mark Douglas.

lee charnley and mike ashley

Lee Charnley and Mike Ashley at Newcastle

And one of the interesting things in the book is that it points to recent changes in Newcastle’s Youth policy, after we have been singularly unsuccessful over the last seven years,  in bringing young players through to the first team.

It’s not the first time that it’s been mentioned that Newcastle are now concentrating their efforts this year more on local talent in the north-east area.

In the book,  there’s an interview with the Secretary of the PinPoint Recruitment junior leagues – Ian Coates – and he has revealed  Newcastle’s new strategy on young player recruitment, which has changed this year.

This is some of what Coates is quoted as saying in the book:

“Newcastle United’s recruitment policy has changed as of this year,” “They will not recruit any player under the age of 21 from overseas on a scholarship.”

“The majority of their players are going to come from within a two-hour radius of Newcastle. They’re going back to the old days.”

“This is coming from the top. They believe there are technically gifted players within the North East. Steve Nickson is head of their recruitment nationally up to 21, he is adamant about that, as is Lee Charnley, the new Managing Director.”

Certainly this season we have seen the emergence of some decent young local players at Newcastle, with Paul Dummett managing to nail down a starting position at left back in the absence of Davide Santon.

And two of our most promising players for some time – local lad Adam Armstrong and Rolando Aarons whom we signed two years ago,  have showed up well in the first team when they have played.

Rolando Aarons has been great, and he should return from injury a week on Saturday at home to Liverpool.

In the last seven years we have recruited from around the world but not one of those top youngsters we brought in,  has made it to the first team at Newcastle.

They include once promising young players like Ben Tozer, Brad Inman, David Edgar, Fabio Zamblera, Joan Símun Edmundsson, James Tavernier, Kazenga Lua Lua, Ole Soderberg, Nile Ranger, Romain Amalfitano, Samuel Adjei, Tamas Kadar, Wesley Ngo Baheng and Yven Moyo – who have all  left the club.

And Shane Ferguson, Haris Vuckic and Sammy Ameobi are now struggling to make it at Newcastle this season, and could leave the club either in January or next summer, if they don’t come through.

Certainly the old way didn’t work for whatever reason, so we needed to make some changes, and there are even signs that we may have some success this season,  with some of our top youngsters coming through to the first team.

Hope so.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

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16 comments so far

  • Average_Contents

    Oct 22, 2014 at 9:36 AM

    Comment #1

    Piss off ed 😉

    As I mentioned on the last thread I think it’s a good move but also has a potential downside. Missing out on young foreign starlets who could make it if they don’t scout them abroad anymore. Slightly short-sighted imo as it limits the club.

    Still, it’s a positive move.

  • Santon03

    Oct 22, 2014 at 9:39 AM

    Comment #2

    LOL AC

  • Santon03

    Oct 22, 2014 at 9:40 AM

    Comment #3

    maybe your source is Ed

  • Santon03

    Oct 22, 2014 at 9:43 AM

    Comment #4

    I thought Sammy is getting better.

  • Toon Tang

    Oct 22, 2014 at 9:43 AM

    Comment #5


  • Toon Tang

    Oct 22, 2014 at 9:44 AM

    Comment #6

    The Battering Ramage

  • Toon Tang

    Oct 22, 2014 at 9:44 AM

    Comment #7

    …Or not??

  • cyprus

    Oct 22, 2014 at 9:46 AM

    Comment #8

    hats off for winning this one.

    Still, my question in this is, WHY? In today’s globalization, we’re going back to the ‘good old days’? Is this for real? What if someone’s 2.5 hours away? What if someon is, god forbid, from London? Or (please no) from abroad?! Stand out of the forest and think. This is dumb.

  • oldbobaycliffe

    Oct 22, 2014 at 9:48 AM

    Comment #9

    if the manager doesn,t give them a chance whats the point in even having a youth squad

  • cyprus

    Oct 22, 2014 at 9:53 AM

    Comment #10

    And that book could just as easily be called ‘Down there’ 🙂 Look at our and Sunderland’s league position. Don’t mention Boro.

  • Average_Contents

    Oct 22, 2014 at 9:55 AM

    Comment #11


    I agree mate, it definitely limits the club. Look at it from fatty’s point of view though.

    Minimal expenditure compared to buying player’s and if we do get the “next Carroll” we can sell for inflated fees as they will be English. He’ll be thinking something along the lines of Southampton. That as far as I can see is the only reason they’d do it. Definitely not for the benefit of the team, the fans or the city. If it does come to fruition they’ll undoubtedly spin it so it seems that way but it won’t be. Cash cash cash.

    Fatty out
    King out

  • Jeff from Benwell

    Oct 22, 2014 at 9:56 AM

    Comment #12

    Whoops Ed scooped by AC –Yet again

  • blew

    Oct 22, 2014 at 10:00 AM

    Comment #13

    Southampton have got it right, look at what
    they’ve sold and where they are now.
    Not only is their scouting spot on, but also the
    academy staff. They are the problem areas
    here. It would be nice to poach Southamptons
    Director of Academy, Joe has done absolutely
    nothing here.

  • lesh

    Oct 22, 2014 at 11:32 AM

    Comment #14


    Recruiting locally may be short-sighted but it’ll save on the costs of scouting.

    Now what makes me think that might have something to do with it?

  • AndyMac

    Oct 22, 2014 at 11:47 AM

    Comment #15

    “Not only is their scouting spot on, but also the
    academy staff. They are the problem areas

    I agree with blew. Has anyone ever stopped to think about the quality of coaching we serve up to these youngsters ? The last decent head of the academy we had got “promoted” to first team manager and subsequently sacked. Roeder wasnt that great as a manager but did a good job within the Academy.

    What Fatman needs to realise is that good quality coaching staff do not come cheap. Appointing R’s licking acoloytes like Beardsley into a coaching role isnt the answer.


    Oct 22, 2014 at 1:58 PM

    Comment #16

    The entire youth setup at NUFC is a mess and has been for decades. It pains me to say his but Sunderland are light years ahead of us. The best young talent are heading there because they have a proper professional coaching regime and have structure. At NUFC they just have a kick about with a few kids. It’s really that bad, my best mate (diehard toon fan) pulled his son from Newcastle academy and drives him to Sunderland because of this and he is not alone.


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