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Beardsley relishing Trophy experience

Written by Rory Mitchinson

Peter Beardsley feels that Newcastle United’s involvement in this season’s Checkatrade Trophy will prove an ideal learning curve for the Magpies’ youngsters.

For the second season in a row, academy sides from 16 clubs in the top two tiers will enter the competition, with United among those to take part for the first time.

Yesterday, they were drawn with Crewe Alexandra, Oldham Athletic and Port Vale in Group D, with Newcastle facing each opponent once.

And Beardsley is confident his side have everything to gain from the experience, insisting that the Magpies will be looking to do more than just make up the numbers.

“I think it’s brilliant. It’s something we did discuss last year, but we weren’t sure of the format – as in, how it worked – so we were 50-50 about it,” he told nufc.co.uk. “In the end, we decided against it. We were going to lose a lot of players on loan, and in the first half of the season, we were short on numbers. But now, after speaking to Scott Sellars at Wolverhampton Wanderers and Glyn Hodges at Stoke City, they swore by it – they said it was amazing, and that their kids had picked up some great experience through it. And ultimately, that’s what we’re here for.

“It looks like the perfect scenario. We’re really looking forward to it, and the kids are really looking forward to it because they’re going to be playing against men in front of crowds. And, as big-headed as it sounds, we’re a good draw. A lot of fans of ours will take an interest in it and probably go.

“You saw how positive the manager was last year when he spoke about the League Cup and the FA Cup. Once you get into senior football, and you’re on show to a crowd – representing Newcastle – then you take it seriously, absolutely.”

Though Alex Gilliead and Tom Heardman have both headed out on loan, Beardsley is likely to have plenty of options to choose from when the Magpies begin their Trophy campaign at Gresty Road next month.

“There is a lot to be positive about, and a lot for us to look forward to,” he said. “Maybe a few will go on loan, but with the first game being when it is, we might have a strong team regardless of what we get off the manager.

“The good thing for the manager is that he has the option of chucking one or two in, and that would work twofold. A senior player may need to play a game, and for us it’d be massive. I know from last season when we had Daryl Murphy come and join in with us, what a great influence he had and what a good lad he was. I think everybody wins.”

"It looks like the perfect scenario. We’re really looking forward to it, and the kids are really looking forward to it because they’re going to be playing against men in front of crowds."

Peter Beardsley

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