It would be funny if it wasn’t so depressing but Newcastle United’s youth team coach Dave Watson has said he is hoping for a big crowd to roar on Newcastle United in their FA Youth Cup quarter-final tie.
Sadly the club have undermined Dave Watson and his under 18s by indeed denying them the very chance of that big crowd.
We approached the club and suggested that with the free weekend due to the Everton match being postponed, wouldn’t it be great if they gave the United kids a 3pm Saturday afternoon kick-off with the build-up they would usually give to the first team.
We also suggested the possibility of giving the gate receipts to charity and just an all round opportunity for a feel good factor and a chance for everybody to get behind our young players, making it a massive occasion and every chance of a crowd in excess of ten thousand, in my opinion.
It could have been great.
The person we contacted at the club agreed it sounded a good initiative and that it had been passed further up the food chain and they’d let us know what the outcome was. Sadly, as we might have guessed, we heard nothing and next thing the date was publicised on the Chelsea website and then sometime later on the NUFC official one.
No Saturday 3pm kick-off that could have got both fans and the young United players buzzing and hopefully helped them into the Semi-finals by beating a strong Chelsea opposition.
Instead it is 7.05pm tomorrow (Tuesday) night with sadly a much diminished crowd from what could have been, a school night instead of a free Saturday afternoon.
Hopefully plenty of you will still be able to get along and support Adam Armstrong and the rest of the United kids, with them already having defeated Barnsley, Sunderland and Derby.
A crowd of 3,501 saw the cup defeat of Sunderland and so it is likely that the Newcastle youths will do well to beat that crowd by much against Chelsea, though here’s hoping.
Watson reinforced how big these type of matches are;
“It is the one the kids look forward to because they get to play at big grounds, with the manager, John Carver, Steve Stone and the rest of the first team staff usually watching.
“To perform on the big stage is great for them and the main reason is to get kids progressing from the Academy into the development squad.”
Access is via the East Stand and all fans must pay, with season ticket holders/members not getting in free for Youth Cup matches.
Good luck to the young Newcastle players and it is just a real shame that the club under Ashley are so short-sighted they can’t see getting a big crowd along would have been great for everybody.
No doubt paying for a few extra turnstile staff was just too much hassle and expense.