Newcastle United hot prospect Tyrique Bartlett has made his eagerly-anticipated return from injury as he looks to get his career back on track.
The striker – who is the son of former Charlton Athletic star Shaun Bartlett – made brilliant progress last season after winning a call-up to train with Rafa Benitez’s first-team squad at Benton following some impressive performances for the Under-23s.
But the South African’s fortunes were dented after twisting his foot awkwardly in the turf in a moment that ruled him out for a large chunk of the season.
Bartlett went under the knife to repair the damage and on a chilly March night last week – in front of a crowd of just 235 fans – he stepped back into action against Aston Villa reserves.
It may not have been in front of a full house at St James’ Park and a 3-0 defeat made for painful viewing, but for 6ft striker Bartlett it meant the world as he came on to a ripple of applause from United’s hardcore fans at Whitley Park.
His coach Ben Dawson told the Chronicle: “He has missed a lot of football. It will take him a lot of time to get back and get used to the pace of things.
“We changed the shape when he went on to get him some support.
“He won flick ons when others couldn’t bring the ball done and there will be more to come from him when he’s 100%.
“He had an ankle injury. He got his studs stuck in the ground and had a bad twist.
“After seeing consultants he made the decision to have the operation.
“It will be better for him longer term.
“When people are recovering from those types of injuries you want to make people are 100% before throwing him back in.
“It will be a gradual reintroduction for him.”
Bartlett signed from Pretoria Youth Development’s set-up in 2017 and the son of South Africa legend Shaun admitted he found life tough on Tyneside after making a big move from his home country.
He said last season: “At first it was really tough, getting used to everything like the culture and the way they train.
“They way they condition themselves here is really different as well.
“Right now I’m getting used to being a real professional footballer.
“Before I was playing football but studying as well, now it’s just football, football.
“I feel like I’ve adjusted well and I’m hoping to take my opportunity whenever it’s given.
“The game is very quick and more physical as well, but I feel like I’ve done well.
“I’m really excited for what the future holds.
“When the head coach is wanting to see your progress or whether you can be used either now or going forward, that’s when we get to go into the first team .”
As ever Benitez has found time to encourage young Bartlett, who said: “He (Benitez) has been really good.
“We haven’t spoken that much, but when we do, it’s all encouragement and advice.
“Even from the other players. When I came in I expected things to be a little bit hostile, but they were all very welcoming.
“If you do something wrong they’ll get on your back, but as long you work hard then they love it.”
Fans in England will remember his dad Shaun from his six years at Charlton Athletic between 2000 and 2006 – not least when he beat Shay Given during a good win for the Addicks at the Valley.
Bartlett won Premier League goal of the year in 2000/2001 after scoring a wonderful volley against Leicester City.
But Tyrique insists he has never had any pressure on his shoulders from his father.
He said: “From an early age, my dad never put pressure on me.
“He told me to go out there and make a name for myself.
“The pressure mostly came from myself because I saw what he did in his playing days, so I was hard on myself than he was on me.
“All I can say is I will not put any limits for myself because the sky is the limit and there’s nothing I can’t accomplish right now if I just stay focused, work hard and show my dedication and keep on learning from the people around me, whether it’s small things or big things – we can always learn from other people.
“The main goal for me is to play in the English Premier League.”
Source link : https://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/reintroducing-newcastle-uniteds-6ft-south-15991624
Publish date : 2019-03-18 13:05:00