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.

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