Newcastle United: 10 Newcastle United Players for the Future
Newcastle United fans have a number of reasons to be excited for the future at St James, for the first time since Bobby Robson's sacking they look like they have a credible replacement.
The city is still in celebration from Halloween's 5-1 derby demolition of arch rivals Sunderland and they have a team who appear proud to play for the Magpies.
On top of that the club sits comfortably in the top half of the Premier League a third of the way into the season.
And to some fans there is the fact United seem to have a large number of up and coming young stars chomping at the bit to be back in the United side.
For all of the criticism Mike Ashley receives from United fans the one thing he has certainly got right is the money he has spent on United academy in recent seasons.
With the exclusion of current first team regular's Tim Krul and Andy Carroll I have selected United ten brightest youngsters for you to cast your eyes over.
10. Northern Ireland's Shane Ferguso
Name: Shane Ferguson
Position: Left wing/Left full back
D/O/B: 12/7/1991 (19 years old)
Nationality: Northern Irish
International caps: 1
Beginning his career with hometown club Derry City in Northern Ireland, Ferguson joined United at the age of 16 working his way through the United academy.
Making his United debut under Chris Hughton in the League Cup away to Accrington Stanley before starting a left back against Chelsea in the Carling Cup.
Ferguson assisted Nile Ranger for Newcastle's first goal in the 4-3 thriller as United battled past Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
An International debut in his countries 3-0 defeat against Italy on June 6th 2009 as Ferguson was linked with moves to Celtic and Rangers.
Agreeing a new three year contract in 2009 the future looks bright for the Ireland international who appears highly rated by Chris Hughton at St James.
9. Joan Simun Edmundsson
Name: Joan Simun Edmundsson
Nationality: Faroe Island's
International appearances: 7/1
Edmundsson joined United on loan from B68 Toftir in January 2009 after netting 10 goals in 49 games for the club.
Signing a permanent contract in June 2010 with United, the Faroe Island man made his first team debut on July 25th in a friendly against Norwich City.
Capped at under 19 and under 21 level, Edmundsson inspired his side to a shock 1-0 victory over Russia with the only goal of the game.
Working his way into Brian Kerr's side he made his debut at home to France, scoring his first goal in a 2-1 defeat against Estonia.
Highly rated and a regular in Peter Beardsley's reserve side Edmundsson has so far netting 2 goals in 6 appearances for the reserves this season.
8. Ben Tozer
Name: Ben Tozer
International appearances: 0
The highly rated defender joined United from Swindon Town after beginning his career with home town club Plymouth Argyle.
Spending four days on trial with Everton in November 2007, Tozer signed for United in January 2008 signing a four and a half year contract.
Tozer made his United debut in the 2-0 Carling Cup defeat against Peterborough the defender started in the game in defence with Steven Taylor.
Moving to Northampton Town on loan on 21st September 2010 Tozer made his debut in the clubs incredible League Cup victory over Liverpool at Anfield.
The Plymouth born defender then netted on his full league debut for Northampton in the club's 2-0 victory over Bradford City.
Impressing on loan at the League Two side, Tozer has been solid for them so far this season but received the first card of his career against Hereford earning him a 3 match ban.
7. James Tavernier
Name: James Tavenier
Position: right back
Joining United after 6 years in the youth academy at Leeds United, the Bradford born defender featured in every United pre-season game of 2010.
A regular right back for the reseves, the defender looked more then comfortable in centre half during United pre season fixtures.
Making his first team debut against Peterborough in the League Cup - like many on the list - his second competitive start again came a year later against Accrington Stanley when he fitted into central defence.
Quick, good on the ball and good crosser, James may need to be patient to work his way into the United side.
But after impressing for the reserves a number of the Football League clubs are said to have been interested in a loan deal for the young defender.
6. Kazenga Lua Lua
Name: Kazenga Lua Lua
The second of the Lua Lua family to feature for United, Kazenga is the younger brother of former forward Lomana.
Joining the club's youth academy whilst his brother was playing in the United first team Kazenger has worked his way through the club's academy in recent seasons.
First called into the first team squad under Glenn Roeder against Birmingham in the 3rd round of the FA Cup.
Had he played he would have become the clubs younger ever player at 16 years and 27 days beating current holder Steve Watson.
Finally making his debut for United a season later in what proved to be Sam Allardyce's finally game, replacing Damien Duff in the FA Cup at Stoke City.
Making a hand full of appearances that season Lua Lua fell off the first team radar due to injuries before joining Brighton and Hove Albion on loan at the recommendation of Denis Wise.
11 appearances last season saw him return to the South Coast this season where the winger has scored 4 goals in 11 games.
Pacey, dangerous and with an eye for goal Kaz is clearly models his playing style from his brother and is the kind of player United fans love.
In sad news though the striker broke his ankle in Brighton's last game ruling him out for ten weeks.
5. Ryan Donaldson
Name: Ryan Donaldson
Signing for his home town club at the age of 10 Donaldson has worked his way thtrough the youth academy and is now pushing for a first team place.
Making his reserve debut several months before his 16th birthday, Donaldson has captained the side on a number of occasions in recent years.
Making the bench a number of times for the first team, Chris Hughton finally gave the young forward his first team debut on 31st August 2009 in a 1-0 at home to Leicester City.
15 minutes against Ipswich in United' 4-0 victory before earning a first start as part of a youth full United side which crashed out of the Carling Cup against Peterborough.
Donaldson was forced to wait almost a year until his next United start as he partnered Haris Vuckic in central midfield in Newcastle's 3-2 away win over Accrington Stanley.
Scoring 10 goals in 15 games for England under 17's Donaldson is said to be a keen admirer of Thierry Henry and former United forward Michael Owen.
Chased by a number of football league clubs Donaldson is another forward who has been tipped for big things at St James.
4. Tamas Kadar
Name: Tamas Kadar
Position: Centre back/ Left back
Making his debut for Hungarian side Zalaegerszegi TE at just 16 years of age, Tamas made 14 appearances and was offered trials with Bolton Wanders and Newcastle United.
Signing for United in January 2008 Kadar became the first youngster to join the club in that window alongside Ben Tozer and Wesley Ngo Baheng.
Following the sacking of Sam Allardyce Kadar was unsure whether his move would be completed, finally joining the club on 18th January, on the same day as United welcomed back Kevin Keegan to St James.
A regular in the reserves the powerful defender made his debut the bench for United against Liverpool and Hull in debut season.
A leg break the following season against Sheffield United ruled him out for 6 months before recovering finally making his debut against Huddersfield Town.
A first start was rewarded to Kadar in the 1-0 over Leciester City, the Hungarian ahas stepped up to the plate when ever needed for United.
A regular for the under 21's Kadar has been called into the full Hungarian side but is yet to make an appearances for the full side.
With 13 appearances to his name so far the Hungarian could prove a bargain buy for United.
Name: Fraser Forster
The only goalkeeper on the list and one of the oldest Fraser Forster has enjoyed an almost unbelievable rise at United.
Once fourth choice behind Shay Given, Steve Harper and Tim Krul, the Hexham born shop stopper has moved out on loan in recent seasons to build up a fantastic reputation.
Moving to Stockport County on loan in 2008-09 as Tim Krul returned from his loan at Falkrik, his first taste of first team football brought 3 clean sheets from 6 appearances.
Deputising on the bench as Given was injured Forster sat and watched from the sidelines on no fewer then 30 occasions before moving to Bristol Rovers for his second loan spell.
Making four appearances and keeping 2 clean sheets, Bristol manager Paul Trollope had hoped to extend the loan before Norwich City's counter offer was accepted.
Despite earlier errors including a 90th minute mistake which gifted Leeds United victory, the Newcastle fan recovered and finished the season as players player of the year and supporters player of the year runner up.
Keeping over 50% clean sheets for his third club, the goalkeeper was awarded the macron golden gloves award after 19 clean sheets from 38 appearances.
City manager Paul Lambert was keen to see the him return for the canaries Championship campaigne but the 6 ft 7 inch star chose Celtic as his new loan club instead.
A regular for Celtic with 11 appearances so far this season Forster looks set to battle Tim Krul to be the club's long term no.1 at United.
2. Nile Ranger
Name: Nile Ranger
Lightening quick and hard working, Ranger has been on the outskirts of the United first team for over a year now.
One of the players to benefit from the clubs relegation the former Southampton forward has made 30 appearances for United - mostly from the bench - scoring twice.
First brought to my attention during a reserve game two years ago, where he scored a 20 minute hat trick the forward arrived at United at the recommendation of Dennis Wise.
Netting 15 goals for the under 18's and 7 for the reserves in his first season at United he was awarded the 'Wor Jackie Milburn Trophy' in 2009.
Earning him a three year contract under Alan Shearer, the striker collected the man of the match award in his first start for United over Leicester City.
Scoring his first goal in the 2-0 victory over Coventry City, the pacey forward is among the clubs highest rated forwards.
Released by Southampton after a breach of club rules the forward seems to have settled down on tyneside and could prove a long term partner for forward Andy Carroll.
1. Haris Vuckic
Name: Haris Vuckic
Rumours of interest from Chelsea, Manchester United, Real Madrid and AC Milan - 18 year old Vuckic is without question United most promising young star.
Signing a 3 year contract on 16th January 2009 after arriving from MK Domzale the striker has been a reserve regular ever since.
Making his debut in sum style, scoring the winning goal over Blackburn Rovers from 20 yards out after coming off the bench the forward has never looked back.
Recent rumours suggest the forward has been on trial with AC Milan and United may find it difficult to hold onto the highly rated teenage despite the fact he has made only 2 first team appearances.
Despite the reported interest, the wonder kid is said to be keen to establish himself as a first team regular at United before thinking of moving elsewhere.
Making his competitive debut in the Carling Cup victory over Accrington Stanley the player also featured in the Chelsea carling cup victory.
Touted for a call up to his national side, the Slovenian will become the countries youngest debutant if he features for them in the next 14 months.
And The Others
They were of course a number of names who did not make the list and I feel deserve recognition.
First Tim Krul and Andy Carroll, left out because they are already first team regulars and well known to most football fans.
Also Dan Gosling, who I am sure will be pushing for a first team start in the once fully fit at St James.
Other reserve names include:
Dan Taylor: Young forward enjoying a terrific season for the under 18's with 7 goals from 11 appearances.
Phil Dummet: Welsh youngstar who has captained the reserve side this season as well appearing for under 18's. Highly rated left back.
Brad Inman: Australian born attacking midfielder who was awared a squad number ahead of the
Premier league campaigne. Choosing to represent Scotland at youth level the free scoring midfielder is considered one of stars to look for at United.
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