The ‘small thing’ I spotted at Newcastle United’s training ground last week that underlines why Dan Ashworth’s potential departure to Manchester United is a ‘big thing’

Newcastle United new signing Sandro Tonali smiles at a meeting with Newcastle United's Sporting Director Dan Ashworth (L) on July 06, 2023 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

They’ve done a small thing at Newcastle’s Training Ground. It might have been Dan Ashworth’s idea, it might not have been. I can’t say for sure. It might not even be a deliberate ‘small thing’, but let me explain what it is and why I like it.

I visited last week to interview Sean Longstaff for the next issue of FourFourTwo magazine. It had been 12 months since I was there last and on that occasion the training centre was a building site. We ended up interviewing a Newcastle first team player in a portakabin adjacent to the main building where the media team were based. The transformation of the club following the Saudi-led takeover was very much underway on and off the pitch.

Fast forward to 2024 and the revamped training ground is buzzing, there was literally an audible hum to the building when I walked through the glass door and into the new, clean, spacious, modern reception. The improvement on the old layout (which felt more like a doctor's surgery) is significant.

VIDEO: Why Man United Want Dan Ashworth So Badly

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Matthew Ketchell
Deputy Editor

A former goalkeeper, Ketch joined FourFourTwo as Deputy Editor in 2022 having worked across ChronicleLive, LeedsLive, Hull Daily Mail, YorkshireLive, Teesside Gazette and the Huddersfield Examiner as a Northern Football Editor. Prior to that he was the Senior Writer at BBC Match of the Day magazine. He has interviewed the likes of Harry Kane, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Gareth Southgate and attended two World Cup finals and a Champions League final. He has been a Newcastle United season ticket holder since 2000 and has an expensive passion for collecting classic football shirts.