Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

If You Are a Local Lad to Play on That St James' Park Pitch Is Special - You Can Imagine What the Lads Feel like When They Are out There; Newcastle United Youth Coach Kevin Richardson on Monday's FA Youth Cup Clash

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

If You Are a Local Lad to Play on That St James' Park Pitch Is Special - You Can Imagine What the Lads Feel like When They Are out There; Newcastle United Youth Coach Kevin Richardson on Monday's FA Youth Cup Clash

Article excerpt

Byline: Lee Ryder Chief Sports Writer twitter: @lee_ryder

KEVIN RICHARDSON could play a bit during a star-studded career with the likes of Arsenal, Aston Villa, Everton and Real Sociedad.

Actually that's a complete understatement. The talented midfielder won every domestic honour in English football, played for England and was the driving force for Villa when they almost became the first ever Premier League champions back in 1993. The only downer for Newcastle fans is that he never pulled on a black-and-white shirt.

But modest Richardson doesn't even broach the subject of his own career in football when I spoke to him.

His job now is to help ensure Geordie players of his ilk don't end up elsewhere.

With so much emphasis on first-team life at Newcastle, it's worth noting the work going on at the club's Academy, with Dave Watson and Richardson developing teams that have reached the last eight of the prestigious FA Youth Cup in the last two seasons.

Adam Armstrong is a standout candidate to emerge, but Callum Roberts, Rolando Aarons and Adam Laidler are also up-and-coming talents. Monday night will see a re-run of last season's FA Youth Cup quarter-final against Chelsea when the Magpies were beaten 3-2 at the same stage.

Only this year it promises to be in front of a bigger crowd after the club agreed to open the doors of St James' Park up for free to see what should be a well-fought contest that also offers the chance to see potential future Toon stars. Richardson said the emphasis is all on the youngsters this Monday and told the Chronicle: "If you are a local lad to play on that pitch is special. I've played on it charity games.

"And I'm a supporter myself so I really enjoyed it when I was on it. You can can Y imagine what the players feel like when they are out there. It's a proud moment. The mams and dads and nans and grandads and aunties and uncles will all be there.

"It's great for the family to see their son involved.

"So for the young ones to have the experience to play on there it will be great for them - hopefully I can get all the subs on as well!" Newcastle have been on some FA Youth Cup run so far, knocking out YMillwall in their own backyard then downing local rivals Middlesbrough then Sunderland, both away from home. …

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