By Dan King - Newcastle United Club Reporter
Six of Newcastle's young players are currently out on loan, but Reserve Team Manager Willie Donachie is keeping tabs on every single one of them and is confident that they're all benefitting from their various experiences.
Paul Dummett, Bradden Inman, Curtis Good, JJ Hooper, Marcus Maddison and Michael Riley are all playing at different levels as part of their footballing education and Donachie and Football Development Manager Peter Beardsley have travelled hundreds of miles over the last few weeks to see how they're getting on.
All six of the loans expire in January, with some of the players likely to extend their stays while others could return to St. James' Park to battle for a place in the first-team or make another temporary switch higher up the ladder.
Inman has scored twice in two League One appearances for Crewe Alexandra since signing last month and the Railwaymen will be desperate to retain the services of the 21-year-old midfielder, who had already hit seven goals in eight Barclays Under-21 Premier League appearances for United this term.
Donachie told nufc.co.uk: "I saw him play against Doncaster in the (Johnstone's Paint Trophy) and he was quiet - then all of a sudden he just erupted and got three shots on target in the five minutes before half-time.
"So I know he can play at that level. He's got the pace and he's got the finishing ability, so it's great experience for him. Hopefully he comes back a stronger and more mature person and moves on from it."
Similarly, St. Mirren are hoping to keep hold of left-back Dummett who has made 17 appearances and won a handful of man of the match awards for the Scottish Premier League side as well as helping them into the semi-finals of the League Cup.
"Dummy's doing great - I've seen him a few times and he's fitted in very easily," Donachie said. "I know they're delighted with him and I know Dummy's enjoying it.
"Again, it's a great experience playing against great clubs like Celtic and teams like that. It's fantastic for him."
Australian defender Good, 19, was an unused sub when Bradford beat Arsenal in the Capital One Cup quarter-finals and has only played twice for City since heading to Valley Parade and Donachie admitted: "It is disappointing but I understand their manager as well.
"Through circumstance he wasn't in the team and then the team's done quite well without him, and the team always comes before any individual.
"It's a hard decision for a manager but Phil Parkinson has told me that he'll be involved again in the next couple of weeks and it's still a good experience for Curtis, going to another club, seeing another environment, seeing more of the English game, so it'll be good for him in the long-run."
Striker Hooper is on a work experience loan with non-league Workington while winger Maddison was recently joined by left-back Riley at Blyth Spartans.
"For all three of them, it's just about playing games and learning from that because that is the only way you learn - playing in 11-a-side games, especially against men in a really competitive environment," said Donachie. "It'll be good for them.
"Peter (Beardsley) saw Marcus playing at Blyth and he said he worked really hard and we'll try to see JJ and Michael as soon as possible."