Newcastle United set to offer Ben Dawson Academy coach role

In an effort to re-start the talent conveyor belt at St James' Park, Newcastle United are adding to their Academy staff

The newly-restored wrought iron gates at St James' Park
St James' Park

Newcastle United are set to appoint FA coach Ben Dawson to a key role in their Academy.

In an effort to re-start the talent conveyor belt at St James’ Park, the club are adding to their Academy staff and Dawson, who is well-known to the Magpies after working with their Foundation and Academy, is set to take a prominent coaching role in the Benton Academy set-up.

It is understood he could even be a contender for the under-21 manager role vacated by Willie Donachie last season.

That role has been vacant since Donachie left under a cloud in February after a dressing-room bust-up with Remie Streete.

North East-born Dawson is a former United under-15 coach and worked for the club’s Foundation before taking up a role as a youth coaching educator with the FA.

He holds the UEFA ‘A’ licence and is a graduate of the FA’s elite coaches programme – bringing with him a fine reputation for educating coaches.

In a summer where England’s lack of top-class coaches has been highlighted as one of the reasons for their poor World Cup showing, Dawson’s appointment is a welcome development – and it also fulfils a practical need for more coaching talent at Little Benton.

The club recently achieved Category One status but as part of that they were required to add another coach with the UEFA ‘A’ licence, which is where Dawson slots in.

His CV includes a spell as Senior Football Development Officer at United – and he is a Northumbria University graduate. Along with United’s promising youth coach Neil Winskill, he recently spent a week at Atletico Madrid under the guidance of Diego Simeone.

As Newcastle look to invest in the Academy, supporters will be looking to the club to make similar moves in the transfer market after the transfer window officially opened.

United continue to maintain a watching brief on Hertha Berlin striker Pierre-Michel Lasogga, who is due back at pre-season training on Tuesday morning.

German reports claimed the Magpies were about to launch a £9mil-lion bid for the forward but, with just a year left on his contract, United would want to do business for considerably less if they return to the Bundesliga outfit with an offer.

Meanwhile, Mathieu Debuchy’s future was again under the spotlight after respected French sports ‘paper l’Equipe claimed Arsenal had begun negotiations to sign him to replace Barcary Sagna.

The club moved to deny talk of the Gunners making contact over Debuchy but United are fully aware there will be interest in the 28-year-old and have already prepared a list of alternatives if a deal is struck.

The France international has been watched by Arsene Wenger in Brazil this summer – but the Gunners’ boss is at the World Cup as a pundit and not on transfer business. Even so, the timing of the links are convenient given the Arsenal manager’s presence in South America and Debuchy has already spoken of his desire to play Champions League football in the future.

Newcastle have maintained a watching brief on Serge Aurier, the Ivory Coast defender, and have assembled other targets as part of a detailed contingency plan, but they will not allow their highly-rated right-back Debuchy – signed 18 months ago – to leave for less than £12million.


David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer