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Introducing Jamie Sterry


By Dan King - Newcastle United Digital Editor


Should Jamie Sterry make his Newcastle United debut this evening, he will be living not just his dream but that of his father too.

Lee Sterry was himself a highly promising player as a youngster, but his fledgling career was heavily affected by injury. He now runs a successful football coaching school across the Tyneside region, Lee Sterry Sports Coaching, and is the founder of junior side Team Gosforth FC.

His 19-year-old son has been named among the substitutes for the first time in the Barclays Premier League for tonight's televised game against Liverpool but for a while, it looked as if injuries might hamper Jamie's progress, just as they did Lee's.

The talented right-back had to wait longer than many of his contemporaries to be offered a scholarship at United's Little Benton Academy while he proved his fitness following a back problem which sidelined him for almost a year at a crucial stage of his development.

Speaking to the Club's official matchday programme last year, he admitted that it was a tense time.

"I was quite nervous because other players were playing well and they were all a lot fitter than me, because I'd been out for so long," he said.

"I'd missed a full season and during the six week holidays, when you're off school, I was coming in and trying to prove myself."

He quickly made up for lost time and, having impressed in last season's run to the FA Youth Cup quarter-finals, became a regular at under-21 level until injury struck again.

In the 48th minute of the Techflow Group Northumberland FA Senior Cup final against Blyth last April, he suffered an ankle ligament injury which required an operation and ruled him out for the whole of pre-season and the first half of the current campaign.

But, through his own dedication and with the support of his family including Lee, mother Katrina and brothers Lewis and Oliver, he's returned stronger than ever from that setback and, ironically, injuries to others now present him with an opportunity.

Newcastle-born Sterry, who joined his boyhood club as a ten-year-old, is eligible to play for Italy as well as England as his grandfather, Franco, hails from Sicily.

His footballing hero is fellow Geordie boy Paul Gascoigne but, strong in the tackle and happy to get forward, he models his game on Barcelona's Dani Alves.

"I love attacking as much as defending," he said. "But defending a goal - stopping it on the line or whatever - is just as good as scoring a goal, even if the goalscorers get most of the glory."

But for Sterry, who signed his first professional contract last month, a taste of glory could beckon tonight.

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