Newcastle United sign youngster from Arsenal on scholarship contract
Midfielder Stan Flaherty has joined Newcastle United's Academy from Arsenal on a scholarship contract.
The 18-year-old, who primarily plays as a central midfielder, spent seven years at the Gunners' Academy before making the switch from North London to Tyneside.
Flaherty featured on a trial for the under-18 squad as Newcastle were beaten 3-0 against their Liverpool counterparts at the Kirkby Academy but almost netted a consolation for the young Magpies after hitting the crossbar.
Speaking about his move to United, the teenager told nufc.co.uk: "I'm buzzing to sign for Newcastle United. It is a massive club and when I heard they were interested, I just wanted to come up here and I'm happy to get everything sorted now. I can't wait to get started.
"I come up here for a week about a month ago and I really liked the place. I liked the staff and the players and there was a really friendly vibe at the Academy. The minute I came here, I felt welcomed.
"It was a good trial. I did a week's training which was good and then we played a match against Liverpool. The result didn't go too well as we lost 3-0 but, overall, it was a good week for me as I really enjoyed it here, which is why I was happy to come back.
"My main position is central midfield but I can also play as a number ten and off the wing. When you come up here and you see the likes of Sean and Matty (Longstaff) in the first-team, that is a big plus because you think maybe one day that could be you.
"I just want to get playing now so I'm really looking forward to it."
Academy Manager, Joe Joyce, said: "Stan has been training with the under-18 group for a little while, so he's been around them already, and his family have been up a couple of times so they're very happy with the fact that he's moving to the North East.
"He's really comfortable with the players already and he's looking forward to getting started. He's got good pedigree in terms of the time he's spent with Arsenal and people we've spoken to their have given him really good commendations so we're excited about the prospect of getting him in the squad, along with Reagan Thomson who joined us last week.
"Their arrivals will, in turn, give the players that we've already got a lift."
Flaherty could be in line to make his debut for Newcastle's under-18 squad on Saturday as Neil Winskill's side take on Chelsea in the quarter-finals of the Under-18 Premier League Cup at the Magpies' Little Benton Academy (kick-off 11am GMT).