One of the jobs Rafa Benitez has taken upon himself at Newcastle is to improve the quality of the younger players at Newcastle.
Rafa understands it’s really important to get some players coming through the Youth System at Newcastle to the first team.
And although that policy has been in place for the last 10 years, we have very few players who have made it through – Paul Dummett being the obvious success since he’s been a first team starter all season.
Thomas Heardman – wants to play for Rafa
Certainly the youngsters will be motivated to do well and become part of the first team squad because they get to work with the world-class Rafa Benitez and it seems Rafa can improve any player in various aspects of their game.
Striker Tom Heardman certainly thinks that – and he has said this as reported in the Chronicle:
“It’s incredible for us to have a manager of his stature here at the club. For the whole club it’s an amazing thing.”
“You look at the first team with him in charge and that’s where you want to be.”
“That’s ultimately what the U23s is about – becoming a player that can push for the first team and get some game time.”
“The ultimate goal is to play first team for Newcastle United.”
Gosforth-born Heardman has been doing well for the U23 team under Peter Beardsley this season and he joined League Two side Hartlepool United on loan for a brief period last August.
Tom could be sent out on loan next season to get first team games, but he will be fighting it out in pre-season to be part of Rafa’s first team squad in the Premier League next term.
And since Tom turns 22 in September, time is not necessarily on his side, although there have been some late developers in the past – his U23 manager Peter Beardsley being one of them.