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Introducing Barlaser, Gibson And Williams

By Dan King - Newcastle United Digital Editor

Injuries and suspensions have seen Steve McClaren call up three players from Peter Beardsley's under-21 side for Saturday's home game against West Bromwich Albion.

Daniel Barlaser, Liam Gibson and Callum Williams have all been named on the bench for the match against the Baggies.

England under-18 international Barlaser has been an unused substitute once before, in this season's Capital One Cup tie against Sheffield Wednesday, but this is his first involvement in the Barclays Premier League.

He has been on the fringes of the squad in recent weeks, however, and has travelled with the team on a handful of occasions this season.

Midfielder Barlaser, who was born in Gateshead and has been with Newcastle since the age of nine, has a Turkish father, Sener, and represented Turkey at youth level before switching to the Three Lions last summer.

A hard-working player who operates in central midfield or on the right wing, he signed his first professional contract last February; twelve months on, he could make his debut.

Left-back Gibson has been with Newcastle since the age of 11 and hails from Stanley in County Durham.

The flame-haired full-back, who likes to get forward whenever possible, played for Beamish FC boys club and his younger brother, Lewis, is also on Newcastle's books.

If 18-year-old Liam was to make his debut this weekend, it would cap a remarkable comeback for he missed part of last season through illness and only returned to action for the under-21s in October.

Speaking to nufc.co.uk at the time, he said: "It's been very frustrating - particularly because it wasn't an injury but an illness - but I knew in the back of my mind that if I could just work over the summer and get back, hopefully I would be able to carry on where I left off last season.

"I'd like to thank Si (Tweddle), the fitness coach, for getting me to where I am now and also the coaching staff - Peter, Ben (Dawson) and everyone involved."

Gibson, who signed an extension to his scholarship in the summer, joined Vanarama National League side Gateshead on loan in November but played just once.

For Williams, the thought of playing in front of more than 50,000 spectators may not be as daunting as it could be, for he's used to performing in front of a crowd.

The Bishop Auckland-born central defender, who turned 19 duting the week, attended King James I Community College - the same school as comedy legend Stan Laurel.

And he was part of the community youth drama group Bishop Auckland Theatre Hooligans, starring in several productions even as his football career began to take off.

The group was founded in 1995 by Stephen Elliott and aims to raise self-esteem among youngsters of all ages.

"It's given me a lot of confidence in my football, the stuff that Stephen Elliott does with us," Williams told nufcTV two years ago.

Spotted by Mick Tait and Glenn Craggs while playing for Wallsend Boys Club, Williams was handed his second-string bow in a 2-0 loss to Leicester in 2014.

Since then, he's become one of the first names on Beardsley's team sheet and has regularly trained with the first team this term.

Now the next step could be just around the corner for the boy from Bishop Auckland.

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