By Dan King - Newcastle United Club Reporter
Newcastle's youngsters are currently in Italy ahead of their opening fixture of the Torneo di Viareggio on Tuesday.
United then face Under-17 Congo on Valentine's Day and Empoli on Saturday as they bid to reach the knockout stages of the 48-team competition, which begin with the last 16 on Tuesday, 19th February. The final will be played on Monday, 25th February.
Goalkeeper Jak Alnwick and defender Lubo Satka have been regulars at under-21 level this term while Remie Streete and Alex Nicholson have both missed much of the campaign through injury, but the majority of the squad is made up of first-year Academy scholars.
"I said to them 'I would love to be playing in the games against AC Milan and Empoli, the Italian teams, and the Congo national team.' I remember myself when I first played in Europe; you play against different styles of players and you take a lot from it and learn what good players do.
"They're playing against the biggest teams in Italy who are going to have the best young players to play against, and that's how you learn - playing with and playing against the best players."
Newcastle United's squad for the Torneo di Viareggio is: Remie Streete, Steven Logan, Brandon Miele, Alex Nicholson, Jak Alnwick, Alex Kitchen, Jonathan Mitchell, Jamie Sterry, Jonathyn Quinn, Greg Olley, Tom Heardman, Lee Desmond, Macauley Booth, Macaulay Gillesphey, Lubo Satka, Rolando Aarons, Ryan McKinnon, James Morgan.