Having Geordies in the Newcastle side has been a topical point of conversation recently. With Matty Longstaff’s brilliant winner against Manchester United, there have been a few people talking about having local lads playing for Newcastle United.
Rafa Benitez even added a passage in his recent blog entry on the subject when he wrote the following:
I was really pleased to see Matty Longstaff scoring the winning goal for Newcastle; he was great when he was training with us and it was a good decision from Steve Bruce to make him play.
I was also happy to see a few Geordies playing together at the same time; Carroll, Sean and Matty; surely it shouldn’t be difficult to see the benefits of investing in the Academy? £4m every year for 10 years means £40 m (one player); one ‘Longstaff’ every year for ten years seems good business to me.
However, there have been very few Geordies to break into the first team recently. The emergence of the Longstaff brothers seems to have reinvigorated the desire to find and keep the best local players at Newcastle.
One Geordie who has made it into the Newcastle first-team is defender Paul Dummett. Before Sean Longstaff, it was Paul who was the latest local lad to make it on Tyneside.
The 28-year-old spoke to the Chronicle recently about the addition of a few more Geordies in the first team this season:
“In my time in the first team we haven’t had so many Geordies, so it is nice to have a few involved.
“Obviously bringing Andy back and then them two coming through it’s good to have a few local lads in the team and it shows there’s talent in the area.
This year’s team certainly has more of a Geordie presence than ones of the recent past. We also have head coach Steve Bruce who hails from the area.
Hopefully, this will continue going forward. Both Sean and Matty Longstaff look like they can be part of this team for years to come.
Lee Charnley recently stated that it would be a priority to find and keep the best local talent in Newcastle. This is what Lee had to see a few days ago:
“To see Sean do it last year and Matty get his opportunity – and he looked like it was his 25th or 50th game, not his first – was so pleasing for everyone,”
“I think it was fantastic, and we’ve seen the public reaction, not just the Newcastle public. I saw what Gary Neville tweeted after the game.
“We want to be the best academy in the region. Between nine and 16, it will be an academy with boys predominantly from the local area. There will be exceptions, but, generally, it will be local.
“People say it might be because of this reason (not wanting to spend money) or that, but it’s not. It’s a conscious decision to get local boys, because we want local boys to see what’s happened with Paul (Dummett), Sean and Matty, and say that’s who they want to be.
“They’ll know, if they’re good enough and work hard enough, they’ll get an opportunity at their hometown club. That’s what we want.”
There’s still a lot of work to do to get the Academy where it belongs. However, we are glad that the club recognizes the importance of having the top local talent playing for Newcastle.
It just adds something special when you have a couple of local lads on the pitch together giving their all for the club.