Newcastle United’s Academy A Success? – The Reality
Newcastle United, well known as a club of the people yet they have only had ten players pass through the academy doors then develop into a player who can earn ten league appearances in one season.
Only three of the ten are still at the club, they include the Ameobi brothers and Steven Taylor. Shola’s goal record overall is quite poor, although he has established legendary status through his Mackem slaying ability. Steven Taylor on the other hand has had spells where he has looked world class but a mixture of injuries, varying from shoulder to ankle, means he has not played the amount of games he or the fans would have wanted him to. Sammy only made one start the season he reached ten, so cannot be really considered an established first team player.
A good proportion of those ten players made it to ten appearances in 2006-07 under Glenn Roeder, where a trio of young defenders played practically an entire season under Roeder because we ran out of money and our team was crippled with injuries. Where are those three defenders now?
Well they never really went on to do much, Ramage is a traveling man and has played for QPR, Crystal Palace, Birmingham City and Barnsley. Huntington turns out in League 1 for Preston North End after spells at Yeovil Town and Leeds United in the same league, while Edgar warms the Burnley bench in the Championship.
The one player who has gone on to be an arguable success since the millennium is Andrew Carroll who was sold to Liverpool for 35 million pounds, although his career has been put on hold of late by injury.
He is however an England international and the fee we received for him probably paid for the academy running for the full thirteen and a half years. The other three players are Steve Caldwell, Steve Harper and Aaron Hughes. I have not included players Newcastle paid a fee for such as Nile Ranger, Tamas Kadar and Tim Krul.
However although on the face of things Newcastle’s record appears poor, we are by far not the worst in the Premier League, for example the Champions Manchester United since the millennium have only brought nine players through, to make 10 or more appearances in a single league campaign, which includes flops such as Luke Chadwick. This suggests the problem is not just black and white.
This lack of players making the jump from academy to Premier League is a problem, which can obviously be linked to England’s struggle to compete on the global stage at International tournaments. I know I’m not the only Newcastle fan who wants to see local lads in the side putting their heart and soul into this football club but it now seems unlikely we will ever see that again on any decent scale.
You can follow Steven on twitter @media_steven
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