Ex-Newcastle United striker Shola Ameobi aims to be a 'big plus' for the club's academy

Shola Ameobi hopes his new role at Newcastle United will prove to be a ‘big plus’ for the club’s promising youngsters.

By Mark Donnelly
Saturday, 22 June, 2019, 08:00
Shola Ameobi after his last Newcastle appearance

The 37-year-old’s return to St James’s Park was confirmed on Friday, with Ameobi set to take on the role of loan coordinator as part of the club’s academy restructure.

In his new role, Ameobi will be ensuring the Magpies’ next generation are sent to the right clubs - and that they are afforded the correct opportunities and guidance while away from Tyneside.

And with the likes of Elias Sorensen and Jamie Sterry sent out on unproductive spells last season, Ameobi hopes to be able to benefit Newcastle’s crop of youngsters.

"I have been a player myself and understand how hard it can be, especially when you are out on loan,” he said, speaking to nufc.co.uk.

“I think it's important that we have someone in charge of that who can help the player and the club in terms of strategy, why we use the loan system and how we can benefit the player through that system.

"It's working with players that you can help to facilitate everything they need to succeed.

“I'm a big believer in helping each and every player regardless if they are playing or not.

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“We shouldn't treat them any less just because they are out on loan and hopefully I can be a big plus for them going ahead."

Ameobi’s new role sees him return to a club where he spent all-but four years of his professional career.

And while he has been present at the club’s Benton base in recent years on a more ad-hoc basis, he is excited to get his teeth stuck into a permanent assignment.

"It's going to be exciting,” he admitted.

“ It's a club that has been a part of my life for over 20-25 years and I was still coming in and working as a coach.

“Being a part of that over the last year or two has been great but now I'm coming in full-time and into a role where, predominantly, you are trying to help players.”