Paul Dummett has given a very interesting interview ahead of the Huddersfield match.
Born and bred in Newcastle, the Geordie defender is the only member of the current NUFC squad from the region, never mind the City.
Jack Colback is totally sidelined by Rafa Benitez and out on loan, meaning that Jamaal Lascelles is the next closest to being a ‘local’ and he comes from Nottingham, over 140 miles away.
Speaking to The Times, Paul Dummett says that maybe for homegrown players it is more difficult, that when you don’t cost a fee fans possibly assume that ‘you’re no good’.
Reading what he has to say, it is clear that Dummett is one of us, just like his hero Alan Shearer, a Newcastle fan for life.
However, Shearer didn’t exactly have any problems being accepted when he started playing at St James Park, whereas it has been a tough journey for Paul Dummett.
With many fans, for the first time, not seeing left-back as a/the top priority in the summer.
Asked about the Newcastle supporters singing his name for the first time at the Southampton game, he replies: ‘It was weird….Normally people shout, ‘Dummett, you’re sh…’
Some extracts from the interview are below and it is shocking just how few players have come through the NUFC Academy in recent times.
Certainly in these 11 years of Mike Ashley, you would struggle to name any/many beyond Paul Dummett.
Paul Dummett speaking to George Caulkin from The Times:
“You never switch off – I’m a fan, all my family and friends are fans, so wherever I go it’s always football. The whole city revolves around how well the team are doing.
“My first memory is playing football and my first memory as a fan is watching Alan Shearer, my hero as a kid. I had a season ticket with my dad and brother, up in level seven, which was quite a climb. I was in the East Stand for a bit as well.
“I was there when Kieron Dyer and Lee Bowyer had their fight on the pitch. I remember Sir Bobby Robson’s team. I was ballboy once when Laurent Robert was playing and he hoyed his gloves to one side and I picked them up. Now I’m playing and other people are watching. It’s strange when you think about it. I’ll carry on doing it for as long as the club want me.
“There have been times when I’ve wondered, ‘Am I going to get kept on, am I going to be released?’
“When I came back [from a loan at St Mirren] at the end of the [2012/13] season, Pardew told me he was giving me another one-year contract but said, ‘I don’t think you’ve what it takes to play in my team.’
“It was a shock. It was one of those: there you go, another contract, but you’re not good enough. You’ve got no chance, basically.
“When Pardew has been at other clubs there’s been some interest in taking me there, but I don’t know whether that’s always been true and I’ve never spoken to him direct.
“When we were first linked with the manager [Rafa], I remember thinking, ‘He’s not going to come here,’…it was a reminder of how big this club is. We’re lucky to have him. Hopefully we can stay up, he’ll stay and we progress.
“I decided to have a break from it [international call-ups with Wales], to concentrate on playing for Newcastle. Coleman said that for as long as he was manager he would never pick me for Wales again, but it’s been a different approach from Ryan Giggs and we’ve had a conversation.
“He said that I’d get opportunities to play. No manager can guarantee games and I understand that. I told him that I wouldn’t close the door — it’s a massive honour to play for your country — but if I’d gone with Wales now, got injured and Newcastle went down, I’d have regretted it forever. My contract is with Newcastle. I want to do the best for Newcastle, make sure we stay up. After that, I can have a rethink.”
“If the club had bought me for £8 million it might have been different…when you’ve come through the academy and cost nothing maybe they assume you’re no good.
“Fans like to see attractive football and I’m never going to be taking people on, doing fancy tricks and hitting one in the top corner [obviously forgetting his screamer in the 3-3 draw v Man Utd]. I know what I can do and I know what I can’t do. I do what I can as best I can.”
“I haven’t had that sort of thing [fans singing his name at the Southampton match] before..
“It was weird….Normally people shout, ‘Dummett, you’re sh…’
“It’s taken a long time. It was strange when I heard it. I was buzzing. I just need to keep putting performances in, so they keep doing it and sing it louder. I’m doing what I’ve always wanted.”
Read the whole of the excellent Times interview here.