Daniel Barlaser


By Dan King - Newcastle United Digital Editor
In Hong Kong

Having helped Turkey to qualify for the UEFA European Under-17 Championships, Newcastle youngster Daniel Barlaser was devastated when he missed out on their squad for the tournament in Malta.

But the teenager has revealed that being part of Peter Beardsley's squad for the Hong Kong Football Club Citibank Soccer Sevens, which kicks off on Saturday, has helped him to get over his international heartache.

Although born in Gateshead, Barlaser qualifies for Turkey though his father, Sener, and has been a regular part of their team at under-16 and under-17 level in recent months but he wasn't selected for the finals as an England side featuring United pair Adam Armstrong and Freddie Woodman went on to lift the trophy.

Now, though, Barlaser has set his sights on impressing in the Far East and told nufc.co.uk: "Coming here has helped me a lot because I was quite down about not getting picked for Turkey.

"This has got my mood up and I've been excited to come here, so I'm glad to be here with the lads.

"I was quite disappointed but I think if I have a good tournament here, I might get my chance further down the line. There's a World Cup coming up soon so I'll try to do my best in every game I play and try and get in the squad for that.

"The city's excellent. It's really crowded, the people are dead nice and it's cheaper than England!

"It's all-round great, but the weather is just a world away. It's really hot and the humidity is amazing.

"I've been to Singapore with the lads before and that was humid but Hong Kong is even more so.

"The two places are quite similar in many ways, but it's just so hot. That's the biggest difference.

"But it's good to play in different countries because it shows you different cultures and playing in conditions like this improves your stamina."

Newcastle kick off their group campaign against the hosts, Hong Kong Football Club, on Saturday at 4.31pm local time (9.31am British time) before facing the Hong Kong FA's under-23 team then, in Saturday's final match, Asian champions Guangzhou Evergrande.

"They'll be used to this, so they'll have a certain advantage, but I think we should be capable of beating them," Barlaser said.

"I think if we do well in the first game and get a good result there, we can kick on in the tournament and go far.

"We've got a good team, a good set of lads and if we play as well as we're capable of I think we can win."

For unrivalled coverage of the Hong Kong Football Club Citibank Soccer Sevens, stay logged on to nufc.co.uk. Meanwhile nufcTV will be bringing subscribers exclusive interviews and extended highlights from the tournament