The 'Rafa Benitez effect' convinced promising teenager Josef Yarney to swap Everton for Newcastle

Rafa Benitez
Rafa Benitez

'World class' Rafa Benitez was a major factor in Josef Yarney swapping his native Merseyside for Tyneside.

The former Everton central defender made his Magpies Under-23 bow on Monday night in the 2-1 win at Darlington's Northern Echo Arena.

And a strong, composed performance at the heart of the backline won praise from club legend Peter Beardsley.

Yarney says playing under the likes of former Liverpool boss Benitez and England forward Beardsley made his decision to sign for Newcastle an easy one this summer.

"Of course seeing a big manager like that at Newcastle attracted me here," said the 19-year-old.

"He's up there as one of the very best managers in the world and he's doing a good job at Newcastle.

Peter Beardsley

Peter Beardsley

"To be able to potentially work with him is great."

On Beardsley, Yarney echoed that sentiment.

"It's brilliant working for somebody like Peter Beardsley," he said.

"He's got all the experience - he's been there and done it all before and got the T-shirt.

"He's passing all his experience on to us and that's exactly the sort of influence we all need."

Yarney is likely to get plenty of chances to shine for the Magpies youngsters this season, especially with the added incentive of matches against Football League teams in the Checkatrade Trophy.

"I'm hoping to get gametime in the Checkatrade trophy and for the Under-23s. I'm just going to get my head down and work hard and hopefully show what I can do," he said.

"It's an important time for me in my development. The aim is to step on to the first team at some point and hopefully I can do it.

"It could come in a month, it could come in a year, you just never know. All I can do is work hard and hope the gaffer gives me a chance."

The Scouser continued: "It's all been great since I signed here. I've really enjoyed it - training with the lads and everything, it's been great.

"It's a big club and that's what attracted me first really.

"I first came up here in April and, as soon as I got the word that they wanted me, I said to myself: 'Right, I'm straight there.'"