Jeff Henderson

By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Journalist

 

Peter Beardsley has tipped "perfect role model" Jeff Henderson to shine at Gateshead, as the young defender begins a month-long loan spell with the Blue Square Premier side.

Henderson, 19, is expected to make his debut for the Heed on Saturday away at Ebbsfleet after catching the eye for Newcastle's Reserves both last season and in the early part of this term.

He could tread a similar path to St. James' Park teammate James Tavernier, who spent part of the 2010/11 campaign on loan at the International Stadium, and is now on a temporary deal at League One side Carlisle.

And Beardsley believes Henderson has all the attributes to be a success at Gateshead, telling nufc.co.uk: "When the younger lads play he is captain.

"He is a good example to them all, has a brilliant attitude and obviously has good ability too. Willie (Donachie, Development coach) and I think a lot of him and enjoy working with him.  If you could give a perfect role model at our level then it would be Jeff.

"Ian Bogie (Gateshead manager) has seen a few Reserve games and seen Jeff for himself, and it will do them both good. It will be good for Gateshead and it will be good for Jeff.

"You look at Tav and he's gone on and moved up a level with Carlisle in League One. We hope he keeps on progressing, and we hope it's the same for Jeff.

"Going to Gateshead did Tav the world of good last year, and Jeff sees it for what it is - the chance to play men's football. Hopefully he will do very well."

Henderson will join teenage goalkeeper Jak Alnwick at Gateshead, after the 18-year-old extended his loan deal there by a fortnight.

And although Alnwick is yet to taste first team action, Beardsley believes the experience is doing him the world of good.

"I saw Jak play for Gateshead's Reserves against Livingston on Wednesday, saw him against Carlisle and I know he played against a Rangers side which had nine internationals including David Weir," he said.

"So it is good experience, he is playing games and that is great for him."