Ashley hoping to turn bad blood into young blood?

Posted on January 5th, 2010 | 40 Comments |

Willie give yoof a chance?
Willie give yoof a chance?
It seemed only a few months ago that Newcastle and it’s fans had reached an impasse. Having been roundly exposed at the infamous Keegan tribunal and having alienated fans, the club’s owners could literally sink no further in their fans’ estimations. And they’re still struggling to gain the respect of the fans, following mistake after mistake though good results and number one spot have momentarily halted some cries for Ashley’s head.

But arguably one of the more disappointing casualties of the long-running saga, was the departure of Richard Money who was no doubt influenced by the off-field shenanigans at Gallowgate. Hardly something to be proudly associated with after all. Of course, he was also apparently keen to rejoin a club he was fond of, but it’s surely no coincidence that he left during a time of uncertainty.

Money only lasted a year and a half or so as Academy Director at the Toon, but in that time built up a good reputation and was making good progress with the talent at his disposal. His departure to Luton Town was a big signal to some fans that the board had effectively dropped their priorities on the youth side. Which in itself fuelled the rumours that Ashley was only here for the short term and to get the best price he could from a future sale.

Of course that might still be true but the appointment of Willie Donachie may also go some way to contradicting that theory, and illustrating more long term intentions. The former Scotland international Willie Donachie has been appointed today at the club’s Benton Academy, and the ex-Manchester City and Oldham Athletic coach and Millwall manager, seems chuffed to be part of it all:

“I am joining a great club and a terrific set-up at Newcastle United.

“It is a fabulous move for me and one that I’m immensely looking forward to.”

According to The Chronicle, Donachie is expected to work with United’s under-18s with cult hero Kenny Wharton and Joe Joyce to help nurture Newcastle’s young talent in the Academy League and the FA Youth Cup. Academy gaffer, Joyce had this to say:

“I am delighted Willie has joined our team at the Academy.

“He brings a wealth of experience to the role and I am sure that over time he will prove a great asset to the club.”

I’m just about old enough to remember Panini sticker books with Donachie’s mug in them but that’s about it from his playing days, though I do remember when he had a decent run when he was helping Joe Royle out at Oldham back in the ’90s. Considering the plethora of young kids we were getting in at one stage, the conveyor belt seems to have dried up, which would suggest the link in that chain is now gone.

However, hopefully this appointment re-emphasises the focus on the youth and that we make moves to add to the likes of the promising Vukcic, Spear and Adjei to name but a few, who are all making good progress in the youth ranks. And also that Wharton, Joyce and Donachie are soon hammering on Chris Hughton’s door to give them some first team action.

NUFCBlog Author: bowburnmag bowburnmag has written 234 articles on this blog.

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40 Responses

  1. It’s a good sign that Richard Money’s been replaced.

    I must admit, I’d viewed his departure as an opportunity for further cost-cutting by not closing the Academy but not replacing the Academy Director and thus saving on the asscoiated salary costs.

    This appointment has given a good sign that MA is keen to develop the club and if he intends to sell it, sell it as a strong going-concern with potential for further development.

    Well done all.

  2. I am sure I read somewhere that Geoff Vitere has left the club within the last few days, so who exactly is doing our scouting now?

    Futillo too has left us.

  3. Well if that’s true there really is no forward planning in the case of the scouting network, which isactuall the most important part of the club if there isn’t much money about.

  4. BBM – why do youre articles always have to be vindictive – Money stated why he left – for his love of Luton Town and the opportunity it gave him – he also thanked the board for the opportunity – it seems youre fully NUST’d up these days fella – youve lost any semblance of balance.

  5. Stuart79 says:
    January 5, 2010 at 2:38 pm
    Might your comment about a lack of forward planning be a little premature?

    After all, we don’t know the circumstances of their possible departures and firthermore, we don’t know whether there’s anyone lined up to succeed these guys.

    Richard Money left and I’d assumed his loss would be accepted and no replacement recruited. Wrong!

    MA and Llambias have pulled some strokes and demonstrated incompetence that beggared belief, however, It’s not in MA’s interests to lose the socuting network -after all, it feeds into the Academy….?

    It’s all too easy to criticise and given events over the last couple of years, that’s understandable.

    However, I genuinely believe that MA is and will invest in the club as far as is possible to make it a viable buy in future.

    Patience guys, have patience.

    PS – I am not an Ashely apologist!

  6. Wasn’t meant to be vindictive, just speculative.

    I just think the timing was convenient but it might have been purely down to the lure of the Blue Square Premier like… :)

  7. Stardust says:
    January 5, 2010 at 2:53 pm @5.

    Stardust, you must have different eyes to me as I can’t see anything but positives in the article.

    Money’s hardly going to say he was leaving because of the turmoil at the club – that is uprofessional and it would not have done his furture any good would it!

    No doubt he was affected by the turmoiil but he worked on through it doing a very very good job. However, an opportunity came along that proved to be the club he loved (Luton). He took it…. wouldn’t you in his shoes?

    Stop being such a pain Stardy – it’s obvious any seasonal good-will has worn off and you’re back to type!!!

  8. As I said in a previous blog, I thought the flow of incoming young players dried up when Wise left. There was a lot of hate vented upon him (and I hold up my own hands in that respect) but it has to be conceded that he was at least partialy instrumental at bringing some of these youngsters into the club. Surely Money wasn’t involved in that respect, coaching them was his job.
    Vetere, if he is still with us, doesn’t seem to have been very active in signing any new youngaters, or has the club not got room for more. I would doubt that.

  9. Well this is, technically, a blog Stardust. And as it’s bowburn’s article then he is entitled to publish his views whatever they are. If thats how he see’s it then that’s what he should write, in my opinion anyway. Thats why people can comment on the articles, so they can agree/disagree/discuss.

  10. But toonsy, you’ve clesrly forgotten the rules – nobody but Stardust has any right to write anything contoversial!

  11. Actually Bowburn I think it’s a reasonably balanced article.

    Well done, although are we falling into the trap of too many articles?

  12. Stu – I’m sort of making up for the next few weeks when I’ll not have chance to do much (unless I want the sack).

    I’m encouraged by the numbers getting on and truthfully I’d be happy with just the odd article per day and let you lot get on with the banter. That’s all I’m in it for, to have a bit of craic, although admittedly I enjoy the writing side of it.

    I didn’t drop that guide in by the way, and I agree I might have left it a bit later but it’s toonsy and worky’s prerogative too.

  13. Interesting article, wondered when someone would mention the youth policy.
    What appeared to be a genuine policy of bringing in young talented players, who would possibly be the future of the club, along similar lines used at Man. U. and Arsenal, has appeared to have come to a halt.
    Shame really as one or two of the lads (Kadar)seem ready to step into the senior side or at least make the bench.
    Wonder whether it has any relationship to the possibility of Ashley selling, it being a long time investment (the developement of youngsters)
    I for one think of it not only as a positive approach, being an inexpensive way of building a side, but as in the case of Simpson and Man. U., could also result as an eventual source of revenue.

  14. Stuart79 says:
    January 5, 2010 at 3:52 pm

    “Actually Bowburn I think it’s a reasonably balanced article.”

    Nah. It’s the ravings of a radgie.

  15. CHUCK,seems like i have not heard from you for while hope you have been ok mate all the best mate look forward to your posts

  16. Stuart79 says:
    January 5, 2010 at 3:17 pm

    As you said Stuart, you did qualify your comments.

    I really must learn to read posts in full!

  17. It’s just a cathartic release for my rebellious streak.

    Someone has to play devil’s advocate on the writing team, otherwise if I left it to worky we’d just have a big Ashley love-in… 8O

    Reet, snow is getting worse apparently so heading home shortly to avoid not getting home. If that makes sense?

    worky – ye suvnors are apparently going to be screwed.

  18. bowburnmag – I just think the timing was convenient but it might have been purely down to the lure of the Blue Square Premier like… :)


    He was in talks with Swindon a few months earlier but they wouldn’t match the wages he was on here so I don’t see the timing meaning anything, he appeared to want to get back into management at first team level so good luck to him.

    Jak Alnwick looks one of the better youngsters signed up lately by our lot btw.

  19. BBM
    You are not out there on the Durham moors are you ?
    Drove around there while in transit from the Lake District to N`umberland, some lonely but fabulous countryside with old stone built villages, was much nicer than the manicured disney-like Lake District.
    While I am on the subject ,it`s criminal the so called re-developement of Newcastle City centre, that abortion of a mall and the destruction of that Georgian masterpiece that was Eldon Square and the arcade on Percy St., the general evacuation of businesses in whats now known as Grainger Town, aaaagh !
    Vandals, Philistines, what can I say.

  20. Rangerman – Heard about Alnwick, he seems another good local prospect and yet another good goalie!

    bowburn – If your cutting the articles for a bit, i’ll pick and do what i can, if thats ok with you and worky as i know you still have to finish bits of mine off?

    I don’t think the guide went up early, at then end of the day it went up yesterday for a game thats on Saturday. I may have done it a tad earlier than usual though ;). Still, that’ll be my last one for a bit as we have 3 home games in a row after Saturday.

  21. Ice Dog
    You mean someone actually reads the nonsense I generally post, you got bad taste pardner.

  22. Chuck – no, not that far in. Straight down the A1 from the Toon. Popular pick-up/drop-off point for travelling Mags from the Durham area is the ‘Bowburn Services’.

    Aye, some of the Weardale and Teesdale Valley is breathtaking mind. Some beautiful little spots.

  23. Rangerman – I often find it hard to disagree with your logic, if not your sentiments at times. But to be honest, that’s sort of my point. I wouldn’t imagine Luton are in a position to offer him the same sort of money?

    My take on it, is that he took a drop in wages and along with the lure of the ‘Luton factor’, it was a chance to get out of dodge. Just my opinion, of course, no more or less!

  24. toons – I’ll give you a shout ‘offline’, but any help is going to be both appreciated and required :)

  25. bowburnmag says:
    January 5, 2010 at 9:32 pm
    Chuck – no, not that far in. Straight down the A1 from the Toon. Popular pick-up/drop-off point for travelling Mags from the Durham area is the ‘Bowburn Services’.

    Aye, some of the Weardale and Teesdale Valley is breathtaking mind. Some beautiful little spots.
    <<<< i worked in weardale on a shut down 20 year ago m8

  26. T_F well spotted there I see Bad Boy Batty has been on abusing Ed again. Just wondered what made you think of going on there the last time I was on it was just a page saying it closed

  27. B_D

    Batty mentioned it the other day, dont know what he was doing on there but who knows with batty. Hes usually up to no good

  28. I thought Jak Alnwick was a regen character in Football Manager. I didn’t think he was real.

  29. Does`nt Batty abuse everyone without discrimination, whats so different about Ed.
    Hes totally whack, Batty by name and batty by……..
    But he is also entertaining.

  30. lol chuck aye a cannit help meself u know the crack chuck and so are u entertaining. that is