Friday, 9 May 2008

Bits of Kids...

I'm off back up to the toon tonight, ostensibly to ensure my little nephew is being schooled properly in the pugilistic arts but also to have a few pints in the worlds greatest city. With this in mind I thought I'd give you a sneak (and free!) preview of my latest column in 'Players Inc.' before it even hits the shops.

I could probably cover loads of stuff this issue that’ll be gone over elsewhere in the magazine. Things like all the clean sheets we’ve been keeping making all the nationally based sportswriters who’ve been pushing their own anti-Keegan agenda look a bit stupid. Or the effortless swatting aside of the makems and the subsequent non mentioning of the coveted title of ‘North East top dogs’ by a certain local paper which is normally brought up every time we slip down the league. But I decided that I’d rise above all that and won’t even mention various members of the Guardian sporting pages that have anti Newcastle tendencies and exhibit them on every possible occasion, even when they really have not got a leg to stand on. So instead, for this issue, I’m going to concentrate on the future and the work of some of our much maligned back room signings – Director of football Dennis Wise and vice-president Tony Jimenez.

Football, as we have all witnessed, has changed in the last ten years. It’s now vital to bring players through the ranks as well as buy in the big names ( something our previous chairman seemed to ignore preferring instead to bask in the glory of ‘trophy signings’) and the club seem to have recognised this and acted upon it.

The appointments of Wise and co were mocked in most quarters with elements of the national press mischeviously suggesting he was Keegans replacement but his presence, with Wor Kev’s blessing, is already being felt at the club. Our reserves clinched the Northumberland Senior Cup, with good performances from the likes of Tozer, Baheng and Kadar being pivotal to this. These players, amongst others, were brought in during January and could well be the future of our club.

It was said that Keegans biggest mistake last time around (apart from not playing me up front obviously…) was to scrap the reserve team and he would probably hold his hands up to that but youth is certainly a priority this time. Already in the last ten or so games of the season we have seen the likes of Carroll, Lua Lua, and Edgar appearing in the first team and letting no-one down with their respective contributions. There’ll be a cacophony of noise this summer, all shouting for big signings and ‘statements of intent’ but, while it’s important to invest in quality it’s also just as vital to look to the future and the new ‘management’ are obviously aware of this.

In Mike Ashley and Chris Mort we have two sensible individuals who don’t court publicity and don’t have to appease a plc which means they can take sensible long term decisions without having to put money in the pockets of shareholders (particularly those living in Gibraltar) and they both know the importance of long term investment versus short term reckless spending.

It’s my opinion (which means it’s probably wrong..ho hum) that our future’s in safe hands. Those lads that won the Northumberland Senior Cup won’t all make it, the lads appearing in the first team now and then might not last the course either (they’re all just bits of kids after all). But the fact that we’re investing so much time, effort and money in their acquisition and development in the first place means that we’ve got a lot to look forward to.

The next few years are gonna be great.

Howay the lads


Anyway, that's it for now - have a good one.

FH

Ps - I bet you thought the title of this piece referred to a cellar in Austria...

1 comment:

Daz said...

After reading the sunday papers there could be a big clear out happening making way for more of these youngsters. It's a good strategy for your lot, look at Villa, decent football and relative and progressive succes.