Nevermind about this. I did look up the Milk Cup when I was writing this piece but apparently had no reading comprehension when I did so. The Milk Cup is, of course, a competition for youth squads and will have no bearing on Newcastle United's Summer Tour Plans. You have my sincere apologies and my assurance that I will do better next time. --OSotP
There has been much mystery and conjecture surrounding the nature of Newcastle United's pre-season plans. At one point, it looked certain that Newcastle would be returning to the United States with stops at the MLS All-Star game and other points on the east coast on the docket.. but sadly and ironically the squad's success this term has scuppered this idea. Other long-distance destinations that have been suggested (Far East countries, Australia, etc.) also look to be out of the discussion as it is known that manager Alan Pardew is not keen to wear the squad out with an exhaustive travel schedule prior to qualifying round matches for whichever European competition the Magpies find themselves contesting.
A recent story in the Coleraine Times may shed light on at least part of the club's plans for the summer. Check it out after the jump!
Premier League giants Newcastle United have designs on making more Milk Cup history. The Magpies are eager to join in the tournament’s 30th anniversary celebrations this summer and re-establish a link that goes back to 1985. United won the Premier title on their first visit, beating hosts Coleraine 4-1 in the final and after losing the decider to Dundee United the following year, they lifted the crown again in 1989 when they defeated a Manchester United side coached by former Old Trafford star Brian Kidd.
This preseason tournament will play itself out in the last weeks of July (the time during which Newcastle would have been Stateside) and looks to be a competition that much like an early season American college basketball tournament holds a wide array of quality in the sides that participate. Although it seems unlikely that Mike Ashley would be tapping into this tournament on the basis of the club's history with the competition (why start paying heed to history now?), I could see it from Alan Pardew, and the club will likely look at the higher end competition that they would play in the later rounds as at least equal to or better to the competition they would face in the American Northeast..
If there is indeed to be travel over the summer, I think that it would be a very safe bet that France could be as likely a destination as any- of course this is all conjecture, yet a desire to not travel far and the recent trends in player recruitment would sure put this idea squarely in the frame of "logical jump-offs".
Nothing looks official for this competition yet... but it's perhaps a clue to our ultimate plans.