Ramage returns to Tyneside in under 23s role
Photo Credit:(Gettyimages/Laurence Griffiths)

Peter Ramage has taken up the role as under 23s assistant coach at Newcastle United as he departs Phoenix Rising in the USL Championship.

The Geordie made 96 appearances for the club after coming through the academy between 2004 and 2008 which could help him develop some local talent into the first team.

From Whitley Bay, he accumulated 336 first-team appearances during his career. When he left his boyhood club in 2008 he went on to represent nine other clubs including QPR, Crystal Palace, Birmingham City and Phoenix Rising in the United States where he became part of the coaching staff.

A key character during a time of need

Newcastle's academy has struggled in Premier League 2 for almost two seasons now despite more academy players featuring in the first team than in recent years.

Players such as Sean and Matty Longstaff, Tom Young and Kelland Watts all made first-team appearances this season but it is maintaining the spot in the first team which has appeared more difficult.

Ramage, being from the local area may be able to nurture the players and make them feel more comfortable in their surroundings and offer his personal experience of transitioning into the first team successfully.

Sean Longstaff has done that very well being an ever-present in the matchday squads under Steve Bruce whenever fit. However, it has become more difficult for brother Matty who is set to leave when his contract expires.

If Ramage is able to guide players on the right path towards the first team as well as improving them on the pitch he will do a great job at Benton.

After a turbulent time within the academy set up under Neil Redfearn with claims of bullying other coaches and players last season, the Magpies will be looking for a more steady pair of hands to help the under 23s progress.

Perfect time for the academy to step up

With Ramage back where it all began for himself, the personal experience he will be able to pass onto the youngsters could become invaluable for the club.

Bruce is reportedly set to be working with a £30-35 million budget this transfer window with a striker, full-back, central midfielder and winger all required to improve the Magpies' first team and squad depth.

Therefore, this could be the ideal time to get the production line pumping with youngsters breaking into the first team while money is tight.

This is what he is looking forward to the most he told Nufc TV: "My goal is to help give them the foundations to move into the first team and hopefully live the dream that I did in walking out at St. James' Park in front of 52,000 Geordies."

Several under 23 players look set for a make or break year it seems if they are to have a future on Tyneside including Dan Barlaser, Ellias Sorensen, Freddie Woodman and Owen Bailey all tipped for the first team.

Ramage will have a tough job on his hands nurturing those top youngsters who will be itching for first-team action as often as possible. Especially with Woodman and Barlaser both having successful loan spells at Swansea City and Rotherham United respectively.