PETER Beardsley says his young Newcastle United squad have been buoyed by the club’s Premier League survival as they look to win the HKFC Citibank Soccer Sevens tournament in Hong Kong.
The squad flew in today as they look to regain the cup they won on their debut in 2012, since when they’ve reached the final in 2013 and semi-finals last year.
All of the players were in the stands to watch the win over West Ham United, a win that sealed their status in the top flight.
Beardsley, the club’s football development manager, said: “Everybody here in this group was at the stadium watching the match and they all told me how much they enjoyed the game.
“It was brilliant for the youngsters because you look at the difference if they went down to the Championship or stayed in the Premier League.
“It was a brilliant occasion for everybody and the team played really well, which was pleasing.
“The youngsters are now striving to be Premier League players.
“If we dropped down a level, it would have been a big deal for them. It wasn’t easy for them because obviously they want to play in the Premier League.
“When we signed these guys, some as long as eight or nine years ago, we signed them as a Premier League club and our dream for them is to be Premier League players. We’re going to be there next season, so it gives these kids something to aspire to, so it’s a brilliant thing for them.”
Beardsley has pinpointed Callum Roberts and Tom Heardman as the ones to watch in the tournament, which runs from May 29-31.
Group A: Newcastle United (ENG), Leicester City (ENG), BC Rangers (HKG), Singapore Cricket Club (SIN)
Group B: West Ham United (ENG), Kitchee (HKG), Shanghai SIPG (CHN), HKFC Captain’s Select (HKG)
Group C: Aston Villa (ENG), Wellington Phoenix (NZL), HKFA U-18 (HKG), Hong Kong Football Club (HKG)
Group D: Stoke City (ENG), Atletico Madrid (SPA), HKFA U-20 (HKG), Yau Yee League Select (HKG)