ALAN Pardew says the Geordie kids at Newcastle United are all right – on and off the pitch.
Pardew’s side take on Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium tomorrow.
And United – who beat Premier League leaders Chelsea last weekend to move up to seventh place – are likely to have four Geordies in their starting XI.
Jack Colback, Jak Alnwick, Paul Dummett and Sammy Ameobi are all pencilled in to face Arsene Wenger’s side, who beat Galatasaray 4-1 in the a Champions League fixture on Wednesday night.
Steven Taylor, another homegrown player, is suspended along with Moussa Sissoko.
All bar Killingworth-born Colback – a product of Sunderland’s Academy – came up through the ranks at Newcastle.
And United manager Pardew feels the Academy is delivering players to him who can have a big “influence” at the club, with the likes of Rolando Aarons and Adam Armstrong also having featured this season.
Pardew has huge faith in their ability on the field.
He also believes they have the “character” and determination to handle life as a footballer off the pitch.
“We’ve worked very, very hard to get that right, and we’re getting the rewards now,” said Pardew.
“I think the rewards from that group will actually flower later than this year.
“Next year and the year after they will be better – Dummett, Ameobi, Armstrong, Aarons and maybe Jak in there as well as Mehdi (Abeid). They will all have a big influence on this club.”
Pardew has previously spoken about the club’s decision to focus on North East talent over the past 12 months.
“It’s something we decided to do – we felt that sometimes bringing players from all over the world can disrupt it a little bit,” he said.
“We’ll maybe wait until they’re a little bit older to go and get those guys, and keep the other group local and keep the spirit and work ethic here that the area’s renowned for.
“All those guys that have come through – well, I’d be surprised if you could find any of those that you didn’t think was a good person or good character.
“That’s a part of the Academy as well, not just proudcing players, but producing people who are of the right character and right manner.”
The club’s younger players joined their senior colleagues in visiting the Great North Children’s Hospital and North Tyneside General Hospital this week, where they handed out presents to young patients.
Pardew felt they were a credit to the club in the way they conducted themselves.
Pardew added: “I was told that at the hospital visit they were outstanding, and that sometimes gets unnoticed.”
Peter Beardsley’s development side, meanwhile, are top of the Under-21 Premier League Division Two.