Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Ramage Fears for United Future

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Ramage Fears for United Future

Article excerpt

Byline: By Luke Edwards

Peter Ramage last night revealed his apprehension ahead of Graeme Souness' summer rebuilding plans, despite his remarkable progression this season.

Ramage has been one of the main beneficiaries of United's lengthy and prolonged injury list. The 21-year-old made his debut against Olympiacos as a second-half substitute in the Uefa Cup and has gone on to make another four appearances for the first team.

It has been a thrilling end to a season he once believed would inevitably end with his departure from the club having failed to make any sort of impact on the first team.

But, having finally broken through the barriers which block so many young hopefuls at Premiership clubs, the former Whitley Bay High School pupil already has fresh concerns about the future.

"This time last year I was playing in the reserves and I wasn't even a regular," said the defender, whose family moved to Tyneside from Berwick when he was 10. "In fact, I ended last season with a testimonial against St Johnstone and now I'm hoping to be involved against the Premiership champions, Chelsea, at the weekend.

"It's been a hell of a turnaround for me. Even six months ago, I had started to think I'd have to move on. I'd either have to go out on loan somewhere or get a move to another club because I was 21 and couldn't see how I was going to get into the first team.

"Last season, there were a lot of senior players in the way. I was competing with Marcelino, Nikos Dabizas and Steve Caldwell amongst others.

"I never played many games once I left the Academy because there were so many established pros blocking the way in the reserves. It's often like that at clubs like Newcastle United.

"It's very hard for young players to make that breakthrough. In fact the only way you can do it is for a club to have an injury crises like we've had this season. That's how both me and Steven Taylor have got our chances this season."

While both Ramage and Taylor have shone in an otherwise dismal run-in, the duo are also aware of the pressure on manager Graeme Souness to engineer an instant recovery next season.

The Scot is expected to spend heavily in the transfer market as he moulds the United side to his own design. …

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