IF you’re good enough, you’re old enough is one of football’s oldest adages.
And Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew – who hasn’t been afraid to blood in young talent – clearly believes in it.
The latest teenager to emerge on to the first-team scene is Adam Campbell.
Campbell, a 17-year-old, was handed his senior debut in the weekend’s 4-1 defeat to Cardiff City.
Last season, fellow forward Sammy Ameobi broke through into Pardew’s side.
Academy graduate Ameobi, 20, was a revelation before his season was cut short by injury.
And North Shields-born Campbell, a pacy and direct striker, is hoping he can follow in Ameobi’s footsteps over the coming seasons.
Asked about Pardew’s willingness to put his faith in youth, Campbell said: “It’s great to see
“It gives all of the younger lads a confidence boost, as you know that there are going to be chances there for you.
“You know that if you keep working hard, you might actually get that chance. It could happen for you.”
Campbell was handed the No49 jersey by kitman Ray Thompson at the Cardiff City Stadium.
And the England Under-17 international and his family will cherish the shirt for the rest of his life.
Campbell’s performance was one of the few positives to come from a disappointing afternoon in South Wales.
He came off the bench late in the game, and in the few minutes he had on the pitch he set up a shot for Romain Amalfitano and had a penalty appeal.
“I didn’t request it, I was given it,” said Campbell.
“I was in the dressing room and not sure what to expect, but Thommo said ‘No49 is yours’.
“(The number) doesn’t matter to me.
“It’ll be framed and put straight on the wall.”