Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Seize the Chance to Make a Name for Yourselves Tonight

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Seize the Chance to Make a Name for Yourselves Tonight

Article excerpt

Byline: By Lee Ryder

Fa Youth Cup hero, Joe Allon, has urged Newcastle United's Academy side to grasp their chance in the limelight tonight and emulate the class of 85.

The current crop of youngsters at St James' Park take on Brighton tonight in a quarter final at St James' Park and Allon would love to see a new breed of Toon kids earn themselves a place in the history books.

Geordie striker Allon was part of the United side that went all of the way 21 years ago in a team that contained future superstar Paul Gascoigne.

That year United tore Watford apart over two legs in the Final showpiece, with Allon and Gazza grabbing two goals each in the final second-leg at Vicarage Road.

Both Gazza and Allon shone throughout that particular campaign, but several of the side went on to taste first-team glory.

Future club captain Kevin Scott, midfielder Brian Tinnion, winger Paul Stephenson, keeper Gary Kelly and Ian Bogie also picked up winners' medals that year after starring in the prestigious youth competition.

Allon said today: "It was a fantastic experience. We went all of the way that year and in those days every game, even the early rounds, gives you that first chance to play on the pitch at St James' Park.

"For a 16 or 17-year-old kid that is a massive thing and I think the lads who play tonight will enjoy every second of the experience.

"It's a real chance for them, when we won it the same group of players had been together from the age of 12-years-old all of the way up to 18. There weren't many changes.

"You hear of stories of the great Man United team that won it, with Beckham, Nicky Butt, Paul Scholes and the Nevilles and they all did go on to do exceptional in the first team at Old Trafford.

"We probably did not get that chance to go into the first team all together, but we went on to carve out good careers both up and down the Football League."

Playing in the Youth Cup gives young players an invaluable taste of life in the big time says Allon, but the man who went on to taste promotion glory with Hartlepool before leading the line of attack for Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in the top flight, feels it also helped him mature. …

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