Fans in New Zealand

By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Managing Editor


Alan Pardew was overwhelmed by the level of support Newcastle United received on their pre-season tour of New Zealand.

The Magpies are currently flying back to Tyneside, having won the Football United Tour 2014 with victories over A-League outfits Sydney FC and Wellington Phoenix.

Thousands of fans turned out at both matches, as well as a number of community events across the cities of Dunedin and Wellington, and Pardew was taken aback by what they experienced. 

"It makes you realise the power of the Premier League," the manager told

"The welcome, the support and the enthusiasm from the people of New Zealand has been fantastic, and hopefully we can replicate that for the first game of the season at St. James' Park against Manchester City.

"It really helps the team, and I thank the people over here for their support, because it's been brilliant."

United's trip to the southern hemisphere was made in sadness, however, following the news that two fans - John Alder and Liam Sweeney - were involved in the Malaysia Airlines disaster while on their way to New Zealand.

And Pardew dedicated the Football United Tour 2014 triumph to the pair.

"It's fitting that we won this tournament for John and Liam. We are dedicating this win to the families," he said.

"We did this in their memory."