Lee Charnley hails Steve Harper as 'great fit' for new Newcastle United academy role

Steve Harper has been hailed as a ‘great fit’ for his new Newcastle United academy role, according to Magpies’ managing director Lee Charnley.

United today confirmed former keeper Harper has been appointed as the club’s new permanent academy director, having worked in an interim role in recent months.

And Charnley believes Harper, the club’s all-time longest serving player, is ideal for the role.

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He said: “Steve is a great fit for the position of academy manager. He has served Newcastle United as a player, coach and ambassador fantastically over the years and will use his passion for our club to further develop the academy.

Newcastle coaches Steve Harper (l) and Steve Agnew chat during the warm up before the Premier League match between Aston Villa and Newcastle United at Villa Park on November 25, 2019 in Birmingham, United Kingdom.

“His experiences on and off the pitch and his knowledge of the club bring a unique perspective to the role and will be of great benefit to all involved with the academy.”

Harper was on United’s books from 1993 to 2013 as a player before serving as an academy goalkeeper coach between 2016 and 2019. He joined the club’s first-team staff in November, 2019 and the academy in spring this year.

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Speaking of securing the role, Harper said: “I’m delighted to take up the position as academy manager on a permanent basis and have enjoyed every day in the role so far. I’m passionate about our club and to lead our academy is an

honour and a privilege.

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“The club, head coach and all the staff have been fantastic, and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank them for their support.

“We want to help our young people to become better players and have a successful career in the game. Equally importantly, we are developing them as people, instilling them with the right values to support their onward journeys.

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“The academy provides them with wonderful opportunities on and off the pitch and I’m excited to be working with a great team to drive our academy forwards for the benefit of everyone involved.”

The club statement, confirms Harper “will spearhead the club’s youth operations as it identifies and develops the region’s best young footballing talent in preparation for the first team”.

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