Newcastle Utd’s Campbell hopes to rewrite history books against Atromitos

Adam Campbell
Adam Campbell

ADAM Campbell will write himself into the history books at Newcastle United if he makes it on to the pitch tonight.

The teenage striker is hoping to make his club debut against Greek club Atromitos in Athens.

And if Campbell does play some part in the Europa League qualifier, he will be beat Andy Carroll’s record and become the youngest player to represent United against continental opposition.

Carroll, now at Liverpool, came off the bench against Palermo in November 2006 aged 17 years and 300 days.

Campbell - who turned 17 in January - earned his place in the squad with a bright cameo in Newcastle’s last friendly against Cardiff City and a hat-trick in a Professional Development League game against Tottenham Hotspur last Saturday.

United manager Alan Pardew watched the first half of the Spurs game, a 6-4 win, and with decided to take him to Greece.

“It is always nice to see the manager there,” said Campbell. “It was great to see him there in the first half, especially as we played brilliantly as a team.

“We pretty much won the game in the first half, and made sure we got the points.

“I have never scored a first half hat-trick, but the best thing was to get a header. It doesn’t happen too often, so when I get one it’s normally one to cherish.

“I love scoring hat-tricks, especially in a Newcastle shirt. It was the first one for the reserves, so that made it that bit more special. To get a hat-trick and win certainly doesn’t do the confidence any harm.”

Fairs Cup winner Alan Foggon is still Newcastle’s youngest European goalscorer, having netted against Vitoria Setubal aged 19 years and 17 days in March 1969.

And the England Under-17 international would love to have the chance of beating that record.

Campbell, a pacy and direct forward, has a chance of playing as Demba Ba, Haris Vuckic and Hatem Ben Arfa aren’t involved.

Pardew is planning to field a radically different team to that which beat Spurs in the Premier League last Saturday, and Gael Bigirimana’s also in line for his debut after his summer move from Coventry City.

North Shields-born Campbell believes his faith in the club’s young players will be rewarded.

“We have so many good players - Gael Bigirimina, Haris Vuckic and Conor Newton - and all of the lads show that we have a good reserve team,” added Campbell.

“They are brilliant players. When you get service like that from players, it’s pretty hard to miss to be honest.”