Former Newcastle coach Willie Donachie back in football – at Consett!

OUR WILLIE ... former Newcastle coach Willie Donachie and Consett chairman Frank Bell.

OUR WILLIE ... former Newcastle coach Willie Donachie and Consett chairman Frank Bell.

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WILLIE Donachie has gone from the Premier League to the Northern League.

The former Newcastle United coach is back in football – at tonight’s opponents Consett.

HELPING HAND ... Willie Donachie.

HELPING HAND ... Willie Donachie.

Donachie resigned from his post as reserve team manager last season.

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And the former Manchester City and Scotland defender is helping out at the Belle View Stadium after returning from the United States, where he had been coaching.

Consett entertain a Newcastle XI, managed by Peter Beardsley, in a friendly tonight (7pm kick-off).

Donachie struck up a relationship with the Northern League Division One club’s chairman, Frank Bell, after the two clubs met last November for the new stadium’s opening.

The 63-year-old had resigned in February over an allegation he struck Newcastle defender Remie Streete after an Under-21 fixture.

And Donachie had a spell coaching in California after leaving St James’s Park.

“I was very impressed with the set-up at Consett when I was here with Newcastle, and I thought they were very nice people,” said Donachie, who is keen to return to the professional game.

“I’d been coaching out in America, and when that came to end I came home to see if there was anything for me in England.

“When nothing came up, I rang Frank and asked if I could help in any way.

“There’s a lot of fear in football – with managers and coaches thinking that you’re after their job – but that’s not the case here.

“Everybody has been so friendly, which was what made me think of the club in the first place when I found myself at a loose end.”

Donachie added: “I want to work with anyone who wants to work and learn, whether they’re young pros or non-league players. I want to help them improve.

“When I was at Newcastle I coached the Under-12s as well as the Under-21s – I want to help players realise their potential.”

Bell, meanwhile, is grateful for Donachie’s input into the Northern League club, whose manager is Kenny Lindoe.

“Willie rang me a couple of weeks ago and asked if there was any way he could be of assistance to us, “ Bell told Consett’s programme.

“I’m absolutely delighted he’s helping us out – he’s very professional, with a brilliant pedigree – and we can only benefit from his experience.”

Beardsley – who worked alongside Donachie during his spell at United – is likely to name a young team, though one or two fringe players could get a run out.

Admission to Belle View, which has an artificial pitch, is £6 for adults, £3 for concessions and £1 for under-16s.

Meanwhile, Newcastle and West Bromwich Albion have agreed a reciprocal pricing deal for the November 9 meeting between the two sides at The Hawthorns (1.30pm kick-off).

United fans will have to pay just £16 – over-60s, full-time students, under-21s and under-17s will pay £5 – to watch the fixture.

Tickets are on sale now to season-ticket holders.

Twitter: @milesstarforth