Fabian Spiess’ first team run has made a big impact in the club’s Academy.
Spiess, a graduate of the Academy, has played in the Magpies’ last three games, following an injury to number one stopper Bartosz Bialkowski.
The 18-year-old is in line for his first ever home start against Crewe Alexandra this weekend, as Bialkowski continues to step up his recovery.
Spiess’ positive performances have been massive for the youth department, as the German is the first player to experience a sustained run in the side since the reformation of the club’s Academy in 2008.
Youth goalkeeping coach Lee Broster told #themag about how the likes of Spiess and Liam Mitchell, another youth team graduate, are motivating players in the younger age groups.
“I’m very, very proud, because we started up as a Centre of Excellence, and Liam and Fabian were the first goalkeepers to come through the Academy and they’ve both got pro contracts,” he said.
“Fabian’s run has had a knock-on affect and it’s good, because the younger players see how far Fabian’s got.
“I’ve got a bit of leeway with them, as they can see that there’s something at the end of it.”
First team goalkeeping coach Kevin Pilkington has been pleased with how Spiess has coped with the demands of first team football so far.
He added: “He’s done great since being thrust into the spotlight.
“When you get your chance, you’ve got to be ready and Fabs proved that he was.
“He’s handled it great and I’m not going to hammer him if he makes mistakes, because at the end of the day, he’s 18 years old.
“One, it’s not going to help with his confidence and, two, I’m wrong, because I’m trying to build him up and make him a better goalkeeper.”
This weekend’s edition of the club’s official matchbook takes a look at Spiess’ journey to the first team in a feature that includes interviews with Pilkington and Broster, as well as head of youth Mick Leonard, who unearthed the German in Dubai.