We're ready to get back to business, says Beardsley
Written by Rory Mitchinson
Peter Beardsley says he is itching to get back on the touchline ahead of Newcastle United Under-23s’ opening pre-season friendly at Darlington on Monday night.
For the second year in a row, Beardsley takes his young side to the town’s Northern Echo Arena – the Quakers’ home between 2003 and 2012.
Now playing at Blackwell Meadows, Darlington finished fifth in the National League North last term, but were denied a play-off place as the venue fell short of the 500 covered seats required to take part.
Newcastle’s youngsters saw their own campaign end in disappointing fashion, beaten 2-1 by West Ham United in the Premier League 2 Division Two play-off final at St. James’ Park.
Two months on, Beardsley says that excitement has been building in the Magpies’ camp ahead of their return to action.
“We all love a family holiday, and they are massive. I was lucky enough to have three weeks in Florida and loved every minute of it, but the quicker we get back to business, the better,” he told nufc.co.uk. “For young players – especially the crop that have come up from the Under-18s – pre-season is an exciting time, because you don’t know what to expect and you haven’t experienced this level before. They may have been the best runner as an Under-18, but they mightn’t even be in the top ten as an Under-23. It’s a different world, but it’s something they should cherish. We’ve had individual meetings with everyone – asking what their aims are, and what they are looking forward to. Everybody’s different – some just want to get in the team, some want to get in and around the first team – but it is very positive.
“Darlington were brilliant in how they treated us last year, and obviously our boys played well. They are a good club. Even if it hadn’t been at the Arena, we still would have played. That takes that out of the equation, but it’s a nice bonus for our lads to be playing there. I’m sure there’ll be close to 3,000 or 4,000 there, so it’s a good way to get started.”
Tickets for Monday’s friendly are priced at £10 for adults and £5 for concessions. Kick-off at the Northern Echo Arena is at 7pm.
"We all love a family holiday, and they are massive. I was lucky enough to have three weeks in Florida and loved every minute of it, but the quicker we get back to business, the better."