Points and positions
First Team Squad
U19, U18 & U17
Ask your average Newcastle fan about Olivier Bernard, and the chances are you'll be met with a blank look. One of Bobby Robson's low-profile signings, Bernard arrived at United in September 2000 on a free transfer from Olympique Lyonnais, at a time when there were a host of other French players at St.James'.
However, things began to go wrong for the youngster almost from the beginning, as Lyon refused to release his international registration. Their gripe was that they'd nurtured Bernard through their youth system, although he'd never played a first team game, and then lost him to United when the player turned down a new contract upon the expiration of his previous deal. With the registration issue in the hands of the football authorities, Bernard was only allowed to turn out in non-competitive games, and accordingly a number were arranged at the club's Chester-le-Street training base.
Bernard featured at left back against Hartlepool in mid October, impressing onlookers with his forward runs in a 5-0 victory, but was forced to limp off the field a few days later in another behind-closed-doors friendly against Bolton. A knee problem then sidelined him until November, when he returned to training and his registration was at last received by Newcastle.
He finally made his competitive Newcastle
debut at left back for the reserve side on a chilly December night in
deepest Lancashire. Final score from the St.Helen's rugby league ground was
Liverpool reserves 1 Newcastle reserves 1 and NUFC.com commented on his
Now Olivier finds himself facing an uncertain future at Newcastle, with his one season deal due to expire. Since he arrived on Tyneside, his fellow countrymen Charvet, Domi and Goma have all been sold by Bobby Robson. leaving him the sole representative of the World Champions at United. The odds must be that he'll be moving on soon. If he's remembered at all, it'll probably be for his shaggy dog hairstyle, reminiscent of dodgy 80's funk bands, Lenny Henry creation "Delbert Wilkins" and one-time Villa winger Tony Daley.