Newcastle Legend – It’s So Difficult To Come Through The Ranks


Peter Beardsley is the Development Manager at Newcastle United in charge of our Development squad, and one of Peter’s jobs is to bring young players through the U21 (Reserve) side into the Newcastle first team, and this season Peter has seen some success in that area.

peter beardsley rolando aarons

Peter Beardsley with Rolando Aarons last March

Peter was born in Hexham back in 1961, and he was a late developer in football terms, but he made it to the top level at Newcastle, Liverpool and England, and he had skills galore.

But Peter has said the game is a lot more physical these days than it used to be in his day, and it’s becoming very difficult for youngsters to make that jump into the first team:

“It’s more difficult than ever to make that leap from U-21 football to the first team. In fact it becomes more difficult every year.”

“The pace and power of the Premier League poses a huge challenge to young players coming through. More than ever you have to have the right physique to make it at the highest level.”

“Would I make it if I was starting out again now? Who knows? But I talk to the boys about that all of the time. It’s a different world for the young players coming though in 2014.”

“Ayoze is a lovely player and proof that physique isn’t everything – even in this day and age.” “But then you look at a player like Moussa Sissoko and realise how tough it is to reach the top level.”

“In my day there was barely any emphasis on gym work, strength and conditioning and diet but these days we monitor all of that with our young players and more.”

“This season has been great in terms of seeing so many young players making an impact at first team level.”  “That’s my job – to help them get there. That’s why I do this job and that’s what gives me a buzz.”

“Sammy Ameobi, Mehdi Abeid, Rolando Aarons, Adam Armstrong and Ayoze have all made an impression this season and then we have players like Freddie Woodman waiting in the wings.”

“I love to see them in the first team and there are a lot of good young players at this club with a decent future in the game.”

Those are positive words from Peter about Newcastle’s current crop of youngsters coming through the ranks, and one of Peter’s jobs is to pass on his experience to the youngsters, from going through the ranks himself and becoming a world-class player in his day.

He’s like a mentor to our young players,  and hopefully his vast experience at the top level can help them come through the ranks and avoid the pitfalls that are out there, and have them be successful at Newcastle United.

And as Peter says – that’s his job – and at the moment our youngsters are looking very good in the first team.

Peter Beardsley played 276 times for Newcastle  in two different spells at the club, 1983-1987 and then 1993-1997 with Kevin Keegan as manager – and he scored a total of 108 goals for us.

He made 59 appearances for England with 9 goals in the ten years from 1986.

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1 comment so far

  • Slank

    Nov 19, 2014 at 10:59 AM

    Comment #1

    The players Beardsley has quoted have come through to play in the first team not, I suspect, by design but more by necessity because of injuries and loss of form to quite a few first team regulars.

    But that shouldn’t detract from the good work that is going on behind the scenes.

    I watched the recent U21 game on Sky and was very impressed with our younger lads. I thought Bigi was excellent. Satka looked very composed and quite elegant. Callum Roberts was very tricky. Vuckic and Campbell were both good but quite wasteful in front of goal and both are probably not going to progress much further, sadly. A player who makes it in the first team has to be exceptional (in order to oust and keep out a more experienced regular) or/and very fortunate through circumstances which provide opportunities because of injuries and loss of form to others.

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