Mainz (a) NUFC sale now ended
Wolfsburg (a) NUFC sale now ended
Verona (h) Public sale now
Spurs (h) SOLD
Huddersfield (a) ST holders now, 75
West Ham (h) Member sale now
Borussia Dortmund midfielder Mikel Merino
was unveiled as a Newcastle player on Friday - United's fifth close
season capture following Christian Atsu, Florian Lejeune, Jacob Murphy and
The 21 year-old Spaniard officially makes a season-long
loan switch, amid claims of an obligation to make the deal permanent following
a set number of games.
He'll join his new colleagues on their German tour and should be sighted for
the first time at Mainz.
While Newcastle's first team were at
Bradford City on Wednesday,
Merino was photographed on Tyneside undergoing the formalities of his
"Mikel is a midfielder with talent, an U21 international for Spain.
He's a good size, has quality on the ball and he's very, very focused and
professional. Hopefully he's the kind of player we can improve a lot - he
certainly has the mentality to get better and better.
"He comes from a top side in Dortmund and although he did not play too
much last season, he was signed as a young, talented player and to be signed
by a club like that shows that he has something good. He has to show what he
has, and hopefully he can enjoy playing here for a long time."
Beginning his professional career with Osasuna in his home city of Pamplona,
Merino made his senior debut during January 2015 and agreed a five year deal
with Borussia Dortmund the following year.
Debuting in the Bundesliga against Hertha Berlin in October 2016, Mikel made
nine league and cup appearances in total (two starts) without scoring.
Like Jacob Murphy, Merino featured at the UEFA U21 European Championships in
June, a tournament that NUFC head scout Steve Nickson
was present at.
Both Osasuna and Athletic Bilbao had been linked with Merino in this window
and he was omitted from the squad for Dortmund's Swiss training camp in the
expectation that he'd leave the club.
The Spanish under-21 international is set to become United's fifth close
season signing, with Rafa Benitez confirming a deal was close on Wednesday
"It's not quite done yet, but we're working to try and finalise everything.
I’m quite confident that we'll do it.
"Hopefully, it will get done and we will have a player with quality, who can
help us in the middle of the park."
fourth and fifth games of Newcastle's pre-season programme take them to
Germany for the first time since the Schalke Tournament in 2014, with two
friendlies against Bundesliga sides as follows:
Sat 29.07.2017 FSV Mainz 05 (a)
Following visits to Hearts, Preston and Bradford, the Magpies head to the
Rhineland and the city of Mainz, whose hometown team finished 15th in the
It's a 4pm kick-off (local time) at the 34,000 capacity Opel Arena
that opened for business in 2011.
This will be the first senior meeting at competitive or friendly level between
the two clubs and we've failed to unearth any player or coach with both on
Saturday's game is preceded by what it termed a stadium festival, during which
former coach Martin Schmidt will be honoured for his service.
That all kicks off at 1pm with live music outside the stadium, free ground
tours and other amusements.
In terms of transport, shuttle buses run from the railway station to the
stadium in addition to scheduled services 54,55 and 58 which stop near the
NUFC: Midfielder Mikel Merino will join his colleagues in Germany after
completing a move from Borussia Dortmund on Friday.
FSV: Mainz coach Sandro Schwarz will make his home debut after taking
the job two months ago.
Midfielder Levin Öztunali was part of the Germany squad that won the U21
European Championships in June, looking on from the bench as his nation
defeated an England side including Jacob Murphy on penalties.
French U21 captain Abdou Diallo has joined the club from AS Monaco, while
Danish forward Viktor Fischer arrives from the smoggies.
Mainz have been warming up at a training camp in the Bavarian town of Grassau,
beating Tokyo FC 5-2, before playing out a 0-0 draw with Bundesliga second
tier side Greuther Furth.
Following our visit, Mainz complete their preparations against Dutch side FC
Twente on Saturday August 5th. Due to "security issues" however,
that game will be played behind closed doors.
Arena Sport 3 (Serbia)
Arena Sport 6 HD (Croatia)
TV2 Sport Premium 3 HD
(the BET365 website also claim coverage)
02.08.2017 VfL Wolfsburg (n)
around 200 miles to the North East of Mainz, United return to Lower Saxony and
a game against a Wolfsburg side who finished sixteenth (level on points with
Mainz) and only preserved their top-flight status thanks to a relegation
Rather than their 30,000 capacity Volkswagen Arena home though, they'll face
us at the AOK Stadion - a 5,200 capacity venue near the Arena opened in
2015 and hosting reserve, academy and women's sides.
Kick-off is also at 4pm (local time).
Arena Sport 2 HD (Croatia)
MATCH! Futbol 1 / MATCH TV
Sport 1 (Germany)
Sport TV2 Portugal
Sport TV2 Slovenia
TV2 Sport Premium HD
We've never faced Wolfsburg competitively, although coming close in the 2001
Intertoto Cup when French side Troyes beat the Germans to set up a tie with
However the two sides did meet in a friendly played in Germany after our
1964/65 promotion season.
3,000 fans saw United win 3-1 at the Stadion am Elsterweg, Willie Penman (2)
and Bobby Cummings scoring after the visitors trailed 0-1 at the break.
In terms of player/coach connections, Obafemi Martins swapped Tyneside for
Wolfsburg in July 2009 for a reported £9m fee, a year before Steve McClaren
was installed as head coach but lasted less than a year.
Magpies v Bundesliga sides - PL
1999/00 Bochum lost 2-3 (Friendly)
2001/02 Munich 1860 won 3-1 (Intertoto)
2002/03 Bayer Leverkusen won 3-1 (CL)
2006/07 Eintracht Frankfurt drew 0-0 (UEFA Cup)
2014/15 Schalke 04 won 3-1 (Friendly)
(United also faced third tier side Chemnitzer in 2012, losing 0-1 in a
friendly staged in Germany).
2001/02 Munich 1860 won 3-2 (Intertoto)
2002/03 Bayer Leverkusen won 3-1 (CL) SJP
2003/04 Bayern Munich drew 2-2 (Friendly) SJP
2008/09 Hertha Berlin lost 0-1 (Friendly) Mallorca
2015/16 Borussia M'Gladbach lost 0-1 (Friendly) SJP
Howay.... hat winner
Stirring memories of days past is the latest
release from Tyneside-based merchandiser Spirit of 69 - a simple black
and white reversible bucket hat.
Inspired by Gazza's choice of headwear when making an impromptu appearance in
the Gallowgate Corner in 1991, the Howay the Lads design is on sale
Available in various sizes online
here, we had one to give away in a
free-to-enter competition and asked you to name the venue that Magpie pair John
Anderson and Roy Aitken are playing at here in May 1990:
The vast majority of you correctly spotted that it was Ayresome Park, with the
"rustic" background and red home kits fooling a handful into
thinking it was the Oakwell home of Barnsley.
Soon to be sporting a new titfer is John Masterman down in Stockport -
thanks to all who entered.
Newcastle U23s 2 Celtic U23s 1
The Turnbull Ground of
non-league Whitby Town was the unlikely setting for the meeting of Newcastle
and Celtic's U23s on Thursday, a welcome competitive edge from both sides
making it more than a mere friendly.
The Scottish side were full value for a half time lead, only to lose their way
just before the hour when two quick-fire goals from Ivan Toney proved
Victory for Peter Beardsley's side in the first semi-final of the four team
Whitby Town Challenge Cup ensured their presence in Saturday night's final -
where they'll face the winners of Friday's second semi between the hosts and
Dutch club AZ Alkmaar.
A fine night on the North Yorkshire coast saw the two sides trade chances,
Victor Fernandez shooting just wide for United and Regan Hendry volleying
Newcastle's best chance of the half fell to Callum Roberts after 19 minutes,
but Ross Doohan fisted his effort away and the Hoops grew from that point on.
Crossan almost embarrassed former Celt Findlay in the 26th minute but after
breaking free couldn't get his effort on target.
However, his team mate Joe Thomson had rather better fortune,
shooting home from 12 yards on 36 minutes.
Newcastle had shown slightly more urgency after the interval but with little
end product before their 58th minute leveller - a strong run into the Celtic
box by Roberts ending with Toney back-heeling the ball in.
And from United's next attack they scored again - although the match officials
overlooked what looked to be a foul in the build-up before Roberts again
centred and Tony rammed home his shot to make it 2-1.
Celtic rattled the frame of
Paul Woolston's goal in the 68th minute as they tried to force an equaliser,
with two fine blocks from the 'keeper keeping his side's slender advantage
The trickery of Aidan Nesbitt down the left was a constant threat for the
Scottish side, but some good covering by substitute right back Michael
Newberry nullified much of the danger.
A couple of corners and one free kick in added time caused some slight panic
in the United area, but they held firm and avoided the penalty shootout that
had looked to be looming large in the closing stages.
Team: Woolston, Williams (Newberry 50), Cameron, Hunter, O'Connor,
Findlay, El-Mhanni (Charman 76), Barlaser, Toney (Gallacher 80), Roberts
(Watts 69), Fernandez (C.Smith 65).
Subs n/u: Bailey, Harker, Yarney, Aziakonou, Sangare, Kitchen.
Booked: Roberts, Williams.
GCFC: Doohan, Wardrop, Bell, Deas, Duffy, McInroy, Hendry, Thomson,
Crossan, Henderson, Nesbitt.
Subs (usage tbc): Potter, Mullen, Welsh, Campbell, Diver, Watson, McLaughlin.
Saturday's Final is staged at 5.30pm when United's opponents will be either the hosts Whitby Town or Dutch side AZ Alkmaar,
who meet on Friday night.
There's also a 3rd/4th place playoff, which is a 1.30pm kick-off on Saturday.
Admission: £10 adults, £6 concessions, £3 bairns.
A question of Toon
As part of the club's 125th anniversary celebrations, NINE Bar at SJP
are to host a number of quiz nights over the course of season, starting
Individual prizes are promised, leading up to a final in March with VIP
hospitality at a home game the chance to meet the first team squad up for
Teams are limited to four persons and entry is £10 - bookings in person from
NINE Bar, over 18s only. The opening quiz is this evening from 7pm.
PS: This club venture is separate from the fundraising quizzes hosted
by NINE Bar for Gallowgate Flags.
up for the Cup
1 Right to Dream 2
United's hopes of winning the
Premier Section of the NI Super Cup were ended at the semi-final stage in
Coleraine on Thursday by the defending champions.
Ghanaian-based side Right to Dream recovered from going behind to Matty Longstaff's free
kick and netted twice in the closing stages to seal their final place.
young Magpies will now contest
a 3rd/4th place playoff on Friday against Chilean side O'Higgins, who lost
1-0 to Mexicans Club America on Thursday.
PS: A number of readers who watched this game online queried the fact
that the victors were actually from Africa, given the ethnic origins of
Reader John Gallon provides the answer:
RtD took over FC Nordsjaelland in Denmark in 2016 and have "integrated
the two academies to play at major tournaments together, strengthening bonds
between players and creating an enriching cultural exchange for all".
Newcastle 1 Country Antrim 3
(Jack Robson) goals online here
Tuesday: Newcastle 9 Beijing DCFC Morning Star 0
(Jack Robson 3, Adam Wilson 3, Matty Longstaff,
Kieren Aplin, Deese Kasinga) goals online here
Wednesday: Newcastle 1
Right to Dream 2
Tom Heardman (Bury)
Bury move on to Tranmere
Rovers tonight (Friday).
Adam Armstrong (Bolton Wanderers)
Stoke City visit the Macron Stadium this
Sean Longstaff (Blackpool)
Next up is a visit to Macclesfield Town on Saturday.
The reigning Belgian champions begin their title defence at Antwerp tonight
Alex Gilliead (Bradford City)
The Bantams trek to FC Halifax Town
England youth international Lewis Gibson celebrated his 17th birthday
last week as a Newcastle player, but has now become an Everton player.
The Durham-born full back hadn't appeared for the black and whites this
pre-season and made it clear that he saw his future as a professional
Interest from Spurs and Southampton was claimed, but Everton secured Gibson's
signature on a three year contract, with the Liverpool Echo reporting
a fee in excess of £6m - although initially only around £1m.
Reaching an agreed figure avoids recourse to the tribunal that would otherwise
decide compensation and may have also removed any possible sell-on
Making the first of 17 league and cup appearances for United's U18s in January
2016, England recognition exposed the potential of Lewis to a wider audience.
Impressive performance for England in the European U17 Championships back May then cemented his reputation
and intensified interest from other clubs.
In addition to Gibson, Everton also spent undisclosed amounts in recent
weeks on a Dutch youth international central defender and striker.
That emphasis on youth is mirrored by a successful development squad who
lifted the Premier League 2 Division 1 Championship last season - while
Newcastle were finishing third in Division 2.
Ultimately higher standards of coaching and off field organisation and a more
proven route to first team football (perhaps via better quality loan moves)
appear to have won the day.
PS: Liam Gibson - elder brother of Lewis and also a full back -
remains at Newcastle - a first-hand example of United's Academy system that
the family opted not to emulate.
Murphy brace as Bantams bullied
City 0 Newcastle 4
the goals online here
The 2017/18 Premier League 2 fixtures have now been announced, with
Newcastle U23s in Division Two of the competition and beginning with a trio of
Away venues announced include:
Brighton (Crawley Town), West Brom (Hawthorns), Villa (Walsall), Southampton (St.Mary's),
Fulham (Motspur Park), Blackburn (Leyland), Wolves (Telford).
Three possible new venues are listed as follows:
Subject to final confirmation, Uniteds opening fixture against Stoke City on
Saturday August 12th will be at the FA facility at St.George's Park,
The early season game against Boro is at the Heritage Park home of
Bishop Auckland - the first time any NUFC side will have played there since it
opened in 2010.
Reading meanwhile are listing our away game as
being at the Adams Park home of Wycombe Wanderers.
All home games will be played at Northumberland FA HQ Whitley Park, with
the exception of three which are at SJP: Norwich and Wolves in September,
Villa in March.
fixtures are online here
Blue Wkd - official
From the Evening Standard,
Mike Ashley today won his High Court battle with an investment banker over a
£15m deal made in a pub.
Former Merrill Lynch banker Jeff Blue told
a judge that the Sports Direct founder and chief executive had promised him
that payout if he doubled the company share price.
That deal was made on a night of heavy
drinking, the court heard, at the Horse & Groom pub off Oxford Street four
years ago. Blue said that was often how Ashley did business.
The judge said Blue’s claim that he was
owned £15m shows only “the human capacity for wishful thinking”.
Mr Justice Leggatt said that the case had
been “a lot more interesting than some”.
Ruling in Ashley’s favour on Wednesday,
the judge said no one would have thought what was said in the pub was “serious”.
Ashley, who also owns Newcastle United,
was not in court to hear the judge deliver his ruling, but his lawyers said he
had won a “comprehensive” victory.
Spurs (h) odds & offer
Irish bookmaker Paddy Power
have launched a revised offer for new sign-ups, with a money paid back in
cash if your first sportsbook bet of £20 doesn't win.
select "open an account" (over 18s only)
Paddy have also priced their markets on
Newcastle's opening Premier League game at home to Spurs:
13.08.2017 NUFC v Spurs - selected odds:
|7/2 Newcastle win
8/11 Spurs win
|4/6 both teams to
6/4 Spurs keep clean sheet
11/2 Newcastle win 1-0
Find those here
(select "Premier League" quick link)
Bay 0 Newcastle United XI 0
Now entering the final year of his
six year contract, Newcastle defender Curtis Good is reportedly set to
link up with Dutch side PEC Zwolle on trial.
The Eredivisie club are coached by John van 't Schip, who was in charge of
Australian side Melbourne Heart back in 2011 when Curtis moved to Tyneside,
having broken into their first team and caught the eye.
It's reported that Zwolle's Technical Director was in Newcastle last week to
strike a deal, although it's unclear whether he stayed to watch Good play 45
minutes for the U23 side against Gateshead.
Enduring an injury-ravaged time as a Magpie, the 24 year-old played just two
competitive senior games for United, plus loan spells at Bradford City and
Dundee United that were truncated due to fitness concerns.
SJP to be traffic free
Press release, Friday:
Barriers were installed for the
New measures, like barriers and road
closures that could stop vehicles entering the area outside of St James' Park,
are being brought in ahead of the first home game of the season.
It's hoped the combination of vehicles and
barriers at several key points on match-days could reduce the threat of
vehicles entering areas with large crowds of supporters.
Although the terror threat nationally is
currently severe meaning an attack is highly likely, police stress they have
no intelligence to suggest that St James' Park is being targeted for an
But with vehicles used as weapons to drive
into crowds in Nice, Berlin, Stockholm and more recently in London, the police
and Newcastle City Council in partnership with the Fans Forum and the club
have decided to protect the 52,000 supporters who regularly flock to St James'
The decision to tighten security was taken
following national events advice from the police National Counter Terrorism
Unit and approaches from the Fans Forum.
Cllr Nick Kemp, Chair of the community
safety partnership, Safe Newcastle, said:
"This is not a decision we have taken lightly but with the support of the
Fan's Forum and the club we feel this is the right thing to do.
"We have seen the death and
destruction caused by terrorists who use vehicles as weapons by driving them
into crowded places.
"While there is no intelligence to
suggest an attack is being planned in Newcastle, we have a duty and
responsibility to do all that we can to protect the public, and this is what
we will do."
The council and the police say road
closures will be kept to a minimum and will not hinder those travelling to the
match on foot.
The barriers will be at several locations
and only closed approximately 20 mins before and after final whistle
reflecting the area of greatest concern:
* junction of Strawberry Place & Leazes Park Road
* junction of Strawberry Place & Barrack Road
* junction of Strawberry Place & St James Street
* Strawberry Lane
In addition Leazes Terrace, behind the
East Stand where long queues form, will also be closed one hour before
kick-off and until 20 minutes after the final whistle to allow crowds to
Closures will be flexible to allow blue
light vehicles access in an emergency.
The measures will be tested for the first
time on Sunday, August 6th, when Newcastle entertain Verona in a friendly.
Fans forum minutes
The minutes of the most recent NUFC fan forum are available to read online
Old boys on
Sam Allardyce left Crystal Palace
Sammy Ameobi Bolton Wanderers
Vurnon Anita Leeds United
Gael Bigirimana Motherwell
Kevin Bond Birmingham City C
Charlton Athletic AM
Tony Caig Bury GC
Adam Campbell Morecambe
Ryan Donaldson Hartlepool United
Seydou Doumbia AS Roma to Sporting Lisbon (loan)
Shay Given training with Macclesfield Town
Yoan Gouffran Goztepe Izmir
Stuart Green Cleator Moor Celtic M
Brad Inman Peterborough United to Rochdale (loan)
Peter Lovenkrands Rangers YC
Ryan McGorrigan Blyth Town
Conor Newton Hartlepool United
Gabriel Obertan Levski Sofia
Scott Parker Spurs Academy C
Matty Pattison South Shields
Nile Ranger Southend United to HMP venue TBC
John Robertson Inverness CT M
Lubo Satka DAC 1904
Steven Taylor Doncaster Rovers (trial)
Steven Taylor Peterborough United
Haris Vuckic FC Twente
Mike Williamson Oxford United
Andy Woodman left Whitehawk