Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Pardew Told Me I Wouldn't Make It but I Vowed to Prove Him Wrong, Reveals Dummett

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Pardew Told Me I Wouldn't Make It but I Vowed to Prove Him Wrong, Reveals Dummett

Article excerpt

Byline: LEE RYDER Chief Sports Writer @lee_ryder

JUST three summers ago Alan Pardew had a simple message for local lad Paul Dummett after he had progressed all the way from the club's Under-9s to the first-team squad.

Back then, with Dummett's contract coming to an end, Pardew told him: "You're not good enough to get in my team."

But having been at Newcastle from the age of eight, and having graduated from the club's Academy to the brink of the first team, Dummett refused to give up.

At the Academy's gym, United have pictures of a host of players who have made the first team in recent years, such as Andy Carroll, Dummett, Shane Ferguson, Kazenga LuaLua, Jak Alnwick, Sammy Ameobi and Haris Vuckic.

There's also a painting of an empty shirt with: "Who's next?" emblazoned across the back. With plenty of room on the walls for additions, Rafa Benitez has ordered a shake-up to ensure many more follow in the years to come.

This week Benitez hosted the inaugural Newcastle United Foundation 1892 Cup with youngsters at the event meeting living proof, in Dummett, that you can rise through the ranks if you work hard enough.

Dummett admitted he'd had to earn the right to pull on a black-and-white shirt. Speaking 75 appearances after being told his career was as good as over with the Magpies, Dummett told the Chronicle: "Under Alan Pardew I was told I wouldn't play for Newcastle United or in the Premier League.

"When he told me I replied that I wanted to prove him wrong. And he said, 'That's the attitude I like to hear.'.

"With me I have that attitude, I don't give up. Two or three years ago I thought I'd never play in the first team.

"I went on loan to St Mirren and Gateshead and knew I would have to come back and prove the manager wrong, which I did. "Eventually, Alan gave me the chance to play for Newcastle. I am thankful to him, even though he said I wouldn't be good enough.

"Maybe it was his way of encouraging me to go on and make a player of myself. Thankfully he gave me the chance and I am here now."

Benitez has ordered Newcastle's Academy to step things up on the grassroots scene around Newcastle and wants the club to take advantage of what many see as a hotbed of football. …

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