Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

We Won't See a Team of Geordies-But at Least They're on the Right Track at St James' Former Newcastle Youngster Ian Bogie Says the Magpies Are Getting It Right to Make the Most of the Local Talent

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

We Won't See a Team of Geordies-But at Least They're on the Right Track at St James' Former Newcastle Youngster Ian Bogie Says the Magpies Are Getting It Right to Make the Most of the Local Talent

Article excerpt

Byline: STEVE BROWN

IAN BOGIE fears he'll never see Sir John Hall's dream come true.

But the former Newcastle United starlet - now working wonders as Gateshead manager but still a huge Toon fan - is at least consoled to see that youngsters following in his footsteps at St James' Park might yet get a shot at the big time.

Hall famously aspired to witnessing a Magpies first team fully stocked by Geordies.

In the modern, multinational game, that seems an increasingly impossibility.

But while Newcastle's current hierarchy taps the Continent for cheap, young talent, it remains committed to sourcing it locally too.

Unlike Kevin Keegan's scrapping of the reserve team in the early 90s, February's announcement of a revamp of the club's youth set-up was a less drastic restructuring.

So yes, the likes of Ryan Donaldson, Tamas Kadar and Phil Airey have been shown the door. But that will pave the way for those below them in the club's age groups.

And Bogie - who first joined United aged 13 - is delighted to see that the pathway to the top, however fraught, remains open.

"I would love to see a team full of Geordies at Newcastle but that'll never happen," Bogie said.

"The good thing is that Newcastle are at least trying.

"The owner's said that he's not going to spend vast amounts of money, they've got to cut their cloth accordingly.

"So it's vitally important to see young players coming through, particularly for Newcastle fans.

"I'm one and I love seeing the young kids coming through.

"I'm glad the likes of Sammy Ameobi and James Tavernier are getting a chance, but as a Newcastle fan we're always looking for more.

"Our youth team of 14 or 15 players, nine or 10 went on to play in the top flight for Newcastle.

"People like myself, Gazza, Joe Allon, Jeff Wrightson, Paul Stephenson, Gary Kelly, Kevin Scott and Brian Tinnion all came through.

"That's what the club have to try and push through. They've got to work at the grassroots level and get some good young 'uns through."

What those young hopefuls emerge from and into, however, is, Bogie admits, a different game to the one he first encountered.

"The difference is absolutely vast," he explained. "Look at the coaching staff. In some cases a lot of these clubs have got more coaches than players!

"We had one coach, Colin Suggett, and one physio, Derek Wright, and that was it.

"You came in and you trained. Now they've got everything, it's a luxury.

"They've got great facilities, loads of coaches - skill coaches, defensive coaches - it's frightening. They're better educated by top-notch coaches, and they're well looked after.

"We were based up at Gibside Gardens in Benwell - two grass pitches, a shale, all-weather pitch and an indoor Astro-turf five-a-side court. …

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