As this is my final blog I have decided to sum up my entire time at spent at Newcastle United Academy as an Apprentice.
On the whole it has been a really good two years for me in which I have learnt so much. Honestly, I would not exchange my experience for anything.
My goals for the future before I joined Newcastle United as a schoolboy were to improve as a man and as well as a footballer. To learn through life experiences and put in to practice what I’d been taught in training sessions, when I stepped over the white line in any match I played.
To achieve this I knew I had to stay fit for the majority of my time there and fortunately enough for me I was fit in the main for two years which gave me the best opportunity possible to improve, play and make my mark throughout.
However a slight ankle injury in my first year and a hernia and back injury in the second were frustrating at the time but thankfully only very minor and brief setbacks which have not proved to have gotten the better of me.
This provided me the chance to play lots of football as a first year Apprentice and establish the groundwork for a good second year. Having featured alot as a first year, I was able to find my feet and then push on in my second year to try to make as many reserve team appearances as possible. I have managed to do this and I am proud to say so.
There isn’t much I can complain about football wise, I’ve enjoyed every minute I spent at the training ground and on the pitch competing… I’ve loved it.
Aside from football, I’m glad that I’ve finished and completed all my BTEC qualification and my FA Level 2 Coaching in Football certificate. It’s always good to have these in your locker because as everyone knows, football is an unpredictable game and you just never know what’s around the corner.
Obviously my main aim is to breakthrough and to play in the Premier League with Newcastle United but having said that, making sure you’re prepared for the future is right not just for me but for every young player that comes in to the game.
Each season there are around 1600 young players trying to make a career for themselves across the Premier League and the Football League and everyone knows they don’t all make the grade.
By the age of 21 approximately just 10-15% of players will be left in the game so for every 1600 there are around 160 – 240 that wil continue be involved past 21.
These figures prove that for me the hard work really is just starting now – I’ve been offered a professional contract by Newcastle United and I take great satisfaction out of that but the Academy is (if you forgive the analogy) like a warm up, it’s my foundation and base and I now have to go out there again and give it my all to reach the next phase of my journey to become an established player.
It’s great to mix in with first-team players, I was lucky enough in my second year when I had the chance to train with them on several occasions but to be based at the same place with them now gives me a buzz just thinking about it and I can’t wait for the season to start.
The summer always consists of transfer speculation about who’s going out and who’s coming in but right now I’m just focusing on myself and making sure I give myself the best chance possible in pre-season to hopefully give the Alan Pardew something to think about.
On a whole I’d like to thank you all for reading my blogs, I’ve really enjoyed writing for you and hopefully you’ve all enjoyed an insight to life at an Academy of a professional football club.