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Opinion

‘A Newcastle United veterans team would be a great addition after the takeover’

3 months ago
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It’s national mental health awareness week in the UK and I have had a thought.

It occurred to me last night after watching the Harry Redknapp England thing on ITV.

I also got the start of the idea from watching Shearer talking on the True Geordie website and finally from my eldest son who did a thesis on mental health in sport.

So here it is.

Nothing amazing really. I just thought after hearing the struggle some footballers have when they stop playing and “retire”, why don’t they have some kind of veterans team that is still part of their club.

I know there are some players who go on to play for a local team just to keep playing but there are loads more players who simply stop and that’s when the problems start.

Alan Shearer talked about the difficulty of replacing “the drug” of walking out in front of 52,000 fans, of scoring, the dressing room banter etc.

I think as we move forward as a club (assuming Mike Ashley leaves Newcastle United) that whilst we should look to develop our women’s team…we also we have an obligation to look after ex Newcastle United players.

In most cases, the players will have sacrificed their education to play from an early age and many are not equipped for the normal world of work, other than punditry and maybe coaching, although that doesn’t always guarantee success.

The difference with what is on offer now and what I am proposing is that the players would still be part of the club and would still train during the week etc.

There would be a league system to include as many teams as possible.

Obviously the crowds might be down and the money would be different but listening to the players, that is not a problem for them – it’s playing that they miss. I think something more concrete than the six a side competition that offers the players the chance to continue doing what they enjoy doing would be a great step forward.

There would be the chance to have ex players giving advice to youngsters too, to still feel part of their club. The facilities are all in place, the grounds, the training pitches etc. It just needs someone to value people beyond their contribution to the first team.

What do people think?

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