Newcastle United Foundation ‘Can Finish Their Season In Style’ After Confidence Boosting Win
Coach Terry Mitchell is convinced his Newcastle United Foundation side can finish their season in style following a confidence boosting win against Crystal Palace.
The Magpies travel to Mansfield Town on Wednesday on the back of a deserved 1-0 victory against the Eagles.
And Mitchell admitted he was proud of his players’ response after they were set a series of targets for the final eight fixtures of the National Football Youth League campaign.
“Before the Palace match I set the lads a challenge,” said Mitchell. “We had eight games to go in the league and I was looking for a minimum of 16 points, three clean sheets and 14 goals.
“The response was just what I was looking for. We controlled the game against Palace and the defensive display – with the clean sheet – was what pleased me most.
“We created plenty of chances and it should have been a more comfortable win. The only area where we could have been better was our conversion rate.”
The National Football Youth League bridges the gap between academy and college football with 22 teams competing nationally.
The majority of those teams are linked to football club foundations which offer talented young players between the ages of 16 and 18 the chance to combine academic studies with a practical football experience.
Newcastle United Foundation works in partnership with Newcastle College to recruit and develop talented players from across the North East.
And Mitchell added: “It’s a fantastic opportunity for young lads to enjoy their football and gain qualifications at the same time.
“We sit just below academy level but the Newcastle College lads get the opportunity to play against the likes of Everton, Burnley and Palace wearing the black and white of Newcastle United.
“We coach them three times a week and they play on a Wednesday. The rest of the time they’re in college working towards their academic qualifications.”
Newcastle United Foundation took a 30th minute lead against Palace in a must-win match for the hosts – Portuguese midfielder Guilherme Baltaz swinging in the perfect cross for Polish star Thomasz Caskowski to convert.
And although the Magpies dominated it was down to goalkeeper and captain Jack Brown to save the day in the 72ndminute.
“Palace didn’t have a shot in the first half but midway through the second they found a way through and Jack brought down their lad,” added Mitchell.
“It was a penalty but he dusted himself down and made amends with a great save. To Jack’s credit he remembered the same lad taking a spot kick in the reverse fixture earlier this season and used that to his advantage.”
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