The young Newcastle stars beat Sunderland on penalties in the FA Youth Cup on Wednesday night to advance into the quarter-final and a home tie with Chelsea.

30 years ago this season it was Gazza who led the crop of 1985 to success, beating Watford 4-1 on aggregate in the final.

Ever since the beginning of the Premier League era, the conveyor belt of young Geordie talent has gradually slowed down. From Steve Watson and Lee Clark in the Keegan days to Steven Taylor and Andy Carroll in more recent times, the amount of local young players to feature in the first team for a sustained period of time is evidently lacking.

For years Newcastle’s academy was seen as third best amongst the North East’s top three but are times changing?

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Middlesbrough, who once had the likes of Adam Johnson and James Morrison feature in the first team and have gone on to have good Premier League careers, have not produced players of similar quality since. While the only players to come through the youth team of Sunderland in recent times, are Jordan Henderson and Jack Colback and of course we all love where Jack ended up.

Is it now time for Newcastle to be the showcase for local talent in the North East? Sammy Ameobi and Paul Dummett, now in their early twenties, have appeared on many occasions this season and these two alone can boast more home grown appearances in the league this season than Sunderland!

After a period of trying to recruit foreign youngsters, Newcastle have gone back to their roots and pledged to invest heavily to make sure the best talent in the North East come to them.

Adam Armstrong is one who has come back and forward between the first team and reserve team this season, Freddie Woodman is tipped to be a first teamer with the prospect of England on the cards, Rolando Aarons also looks to have a potential future with England if he can get over hamstring injuries. While Callum Roberts has received massive praise from Peter Beardsley about his potential, comparing his playing style to Lionel Messi (if only he was that good).

It is important that this type of players are introduced into the first team in the correct way, otherwise an Adam Campbell situation could arise. The pacy forward had huge potential but broken promises on loan deals have set his career a bit off track. Now with Gateshead, Adam is beginning to show some of that promise with 3 goals in 2 appearances.

Albeit these players may not be Gazza or Chris Waddle and set the world alight, but the class of 2015 with the right guidance and support. There’s no reason why they can’t follow in the footsteps of Steven Taylor, Paul Dummett and Sammy Ameobi, and go on to have good careers in the first team at Newcastle.

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  • DownUnderMag

    Adam Campbell was a prime example of how NOT to bring through potential.  Thrown in for one or two games in a struggling side, he actually looked like he had some good link-up play and passion for the cause, as well as a bit of skill and handy first touch.  That was it though, consigned to the loanee agreement pile so ever-present here it would seem.  But the trouble was, he was being loaned out to third-rate sides in fourth-rate competitions and never got a game anyway.   Now, perhaps he was found to just not be good enough at the club he went to, but I suspect it was far more to do with our young players brought in just to shore up squad numbers and a refusal to play them seems more like not wanting to huff (or indeed inhibit the progress) of their own core players for someone who will be gone in a few months anyway.  Gateshead finally have given him the chance to shine, but is that really the level to develop his game and test if he can make it in the top-flight??  Streete, Vukic, Ferguson, Armstrong….it seems the list is longer than we should have been seeing by now of players not given a chance and written off after so much potential.

    The other major issue is behind the scenes and our coaching department.   We seem to be able to get a lot of potential through the academy up until a certain point.  We constantly have U18’s, schoolboy or even U19’s players representing their country, but then they fall off the radar.  A huge finger of blame has to point at Beardsley and Co who are supposed to be charged with progressing these players.  A good player he may have been, but he has been here long enough and seemingly failed to develop enough talent that I think it is time to look elsewhere for someone to bring the best out of the kids coming through at NUFC.

    Lastly, there needs to be some continuity.  One problem that faced Campbell was Pardew’s tactics, playing the formation he did didn’t give Campbell the chance to play because he was suited to that “support” role, the number 10 int eh hole behind the striker, which of course was never an option under Pardew.  What stood out to me in the infamous game at Brighton those many-moons ago, was how the players not only looked completely out of shape, but that they didn’t seem to have a clue what they were doing…no tactical or team-play knowledge of how the side worked.   Surely the youth should be training with the seniors now and again, some correlation between the two setups so that everyone is singing from the same hymn sheet, making it easier for the youth to step up and slot straight in without looking like fish out of water?  

    We are clearly getting the talent coming through, we just need to start and develop it better.  Not every player will make it at the top level, not everyone can be a superstar in the making.  BUT, there should be a lot more of them making it up to a level that they can at least come in and do a good job as a first team squad player without us all feeling like it is significantly weakening the side.  

    As for Aarons, I get the feeling now we could be seeing a Remy’esque injury where he has been tapped up and will be moving on in the summer, and now he is just refusing to play so he doesn’t get a REAL injury.  i hope we are wrong, but if you don’t pay the going rate then we will see a lot more of this in the future.

  • cwtoon88

    I hope Dummetts career here doesnt gain any extra games, I pine for Paul Huntingdon when I watch him play, theres lad’s playing at the same time tomorrow afternoon in the sunday leagues who have a similar level of talent to him