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Introducing Jack Young

Written by Dan King

Teenage midfielder Jack Young has been included in Steve Bruce's squad to face Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium - and the Academy product could find himself coming up against the likes of Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva at some point this evening.

The 19-year-old, who hails from Morpeth, is on the bench but with five substitutions now permitted in each game, a first team debut for his boyhood club is tantalisingly close for a player who only signed his first professional contract last summer.

That would cap an excellent campaign for the box-to-box blond, who - along with Tom Allan, Daniel Barlaser, Kell Watts and Dan Langley - was called up to train with the first team last month.

"We got told, a few of the lads, that there was a possibility - to keep ticking over and keep doing the running and stuff," he told NUFC TV at the time. "It was something to aim for, and when we get the call it was much better than staying at home!

"This is where we want to be and this is what we're working for, so it's a chance to really impress and hopefully stay here."

Young had already travelled with the Magpies' senior squad once before - he was the '19th man' for February's Emirates FA Cup replay at Oxford but missed out on the final 18-man squad - but this is his first involvement on a matchday.

"I really enjoyed the experience at Oxford," Young told nufc.co.uk recently. "I learnt a lot from just watching how the players went on in the dressing room and hotel. It was a great achievement as well because it was my first time travelling with the first-team squad.

"It was great to get a taste of what that was like and makes you want more. As a Newcastle fan, it was mad to be around the squad too and warming up on the pitch before the game.

"I packed my bags ready to go to Swansea with the under-23s on Sunday and Ben (Dawson) told me that I wouldn't be travelling with them and going with the first-team instead on the Monday. I couldn't believe it, to be fair, because I wasn't expecting it.

"I went back home to prepare for the next day but it was all really quick and I didn't have too much time to think about it.

"I've learnt how professional all the lads are and how serious it is. The preparation and everything that goes into the game are at such a high level. It makes you want to do it more and more and gives you inspiration to keep working hard to try and be there permanently.

"The details are to the finest, from the food you eat, to the stretching and the way you travel. I thoroughly enjoyed it."

Young, who joined United at the age of seven, made his debut for Newcastle's under-23s as an 18-year-old in January 2019 and his first goal - an excellent strike from 25 yards - came against Middlesbrough earlier this season. Perhaps it's an omen that his under-18s bow came in an away game at Manchester City, back in January 2016. He has been handed the number 60 shirt.

Also named among the substitutes at the Etihad Stadium is 20-year-old Allan, who has already made one first team appearance for the Magpies.

He made his debut in this season's Emirates FA Cup replay win against Rochdale at St. James' Park in January - and set up a goal for Joelinton.

Allan - who finished as the leading scorer for United's under-23s in their curtailed 2019/20 campaign - played for Cramlington Juniors as a schoolboy prior to his arrival at the Magpies' Little Benton Academy in 2012.

As well as his cup cameo against Rochdale, Allan has been an unused substitute twice in the Premier League this term - away at Wolves and Everton, both in January, and three times in the FA Cup, but has yet to make his league bow.

Speaking to NUFC TV last month, Allan said: "As soon as our under-23s season was called off, I thought I might have a chance of coming back in so I was at home grafting away, trying to wait for the chance. Now it's here, hopefully I can grasp it."

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