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 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.
What do you think?
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