Since Rafa has come to manage Newcastle, the playing standards have been rising every year throughout the club and will continue to do that as Rafa tries to put together a top team without too much help from owner Mike Ashley.
One of the areas we have not been good at before Rafa arrived was in bringing young players through the ranks and into the first team.
Rafa has talked about that, and it’s vital that Newcastle start doing that from at least a financial viewpoint.
We cannot be like Manchester City or Chelsea and just buy all our first team players – ready to go – because that costs far too much – and we have a miserly owner in any case.
20-year-old Newcastle center-back Josef Yarney – a Liverpudlian
The manager has talked about having one new youngster coming into the Newcastle first team squad every year.
20-year-old former Everton center-back Josef Yarney – born in Liverpool – joined us last summer as a free agent and was a highly rated defender.
And Josef is one of the young players training with the first team squad this week and very likely be on the plane to Ireland tomorrow.
This is what the 20-year-old has said on the Newcastle website:
“For a young lad like me going up there, it’s not just training, it’s a chance to impress and a chance to get better, being around all the lads and top quality players,”
“The tempo is higher, the professionalism is higher, and everyone is doing the right things at the right time. That can bring me on leaps and bounds as a player.”
“Being around Jamaal and players like that – for me as a center back, it’s great to be around people like that.”
“I was watching the way he’s been with the lads and the staff, and the way he plays, the way he leads the team, and also a lot of the other lads too.”
“You see where he’s come in a short space of time, and he’s getting linked with coming into the England squad now, so it’s a good motivation.”
“I thought it was a very positive season considering I didn’t play many games the season before when I was at Everton, so it was nice to get a lot of games.”
“I think at the end of the season we played something like eight games in 21 days, but I enjoyed that.”
“Last season was my first season at the club – I was coming in and I was new. I’ve been here for a year now, and everyone knows what I’m capable of and what I can do, and where I can be.”
“I just wanted to come here and show what I could do, and put a positive thought in people’s minds about me.”
“I think it’s always a big chance when you go with the first team and you’re going to be around the manager and the staff. You can always make a good impression on people.”
“Hopefully I can go up there and impress, and then you never know. I’ll go from there and see where I’m at at the end of pre-season.”
Yarney has started his career well on Tyneside and made 30 appearances for the U23 side last season with a couple of goals.
He now has a big chance this summer to impress the boss, and the best he can hope for is to get into the first team squad for next season – but playing in Ireland under Rafa’s watch will definitely help his development.