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Youth Team Report

Going over the new U23 players and their Checkatrade Trophy group, also U18s started their season

Newcastle United v Birmingham City - The Emirates FA Cup Third Round Replay Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images

While we wait for Newcastle to make senior signings, a lot has gone on for the youth teams. Newcastle have been focused on building the club from the ground up, and after a positive youth campaign last year, they look to keep building. One of the ways they plan to strengthen the youth teams are by joining the Checkatrade Trophy and a roster overhaul.

Newcastle’s U23 team have drawn into Group D of the Checkatrade Trophy with Crewe Alexandra, Oldham Athletic, and Port Vale. If you’re not familiar with the competition, there are 16 groups divided into 4 teams each. The teams involved are all League 1 and League 2 teams as well as a Category One Academy club. The top two teams from each group advance to the knockout stages.

The U23 team have gone through somewhat of a roster overhaul and signed numerous players so far. They include forwards Luke Charman and Lewis McNall, midfielder Mackenzie Heaney, defender Owen Bailey and two goalkeepers Nathan Harker and Paul Wollston.

Also among the U23 signings are Stefan O’Connor and Josef Yarney. Stefan, the former Arsenal reserve player was with Crystal Palace before joining Arsenal. The 20-year-old went on loan to York City in League 2 in 2015 and made only four appearances. Last season he spent time on loan with MVV Maastricht which compete in the second tier in the Dutch pyramid. Josef Yarney was an Everton reserve player and even appeared for the U23 team in last year’s Checkatrade trophy albeit only four times. He featured for Newcastle’s U23 team as a trialist at the end of last season and they deemed him worthy to sign.

Leicester City v Newcastle United - FA Cup Third Round Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

On the way out of the U23 team, winger Alex Gilliead agreed to a six-month loan at Bradford City. He returns after an injury shortened season with the Bantams last year. Also leaving on loan is striker Tom Heardman. He agreed to a season long loan with Bury. I would also expect to see Sean Longstaff to go on loan after signing a new deal with United.

The U18s also started off their season with a friendly against Fleetwood Town U18s. It was a successful start as Newcastle came out victorious 5-1. Goal scorers were Lewis Cass x2, Thomas Cole, Kelland Watts and Thomas Allen.