BY DANIEL NHAKANISO
ZIMBABWEAN teenage striker Michael Ndiweni is targeting a positive run with the Newcastle Under-18 team in the FA Youth Cup as he continues to make big strides at the English Premier League club this season.
The 18-year-old starlet has been in sensational form this season, scoring a staggering 11 goals from just 11 appearances which has seen him being invited to train with the first team on a few occasions by the new Newcastle manager Eddie Howe.
Ndiweni scored a brace to help the Newcastle Under-18s reach the fourth round of the FA Youth Cup at West Ham’s expense early this month.
He will be hoping to continue his remarkable run of scoring form when the young Magpies host Colchester United in a fourth round clash to be played at Whitley Park on January 17.
Ndiweni is hopeful United’s youngsters can complete another memorable run in the tournament after reaching the quarter-finals last term for the first time since 2010 before losing out to eventual winners Aston Villa at St. James’ Park.
The young Magpies will be aiming to lift the prestigious trophy for a third time in the club’s history after tasting success in 1962 before a side including legendary English midfielder Paul Gascoigne, lifted the cup in 1985.
“We always want to aim higher, continuing to improve, and if we get further than last year it’ll show an improvement in the squad and the way that we play. We want to replicate what the likes of Elliot Anderson, Joe White and Dylan Stephenson did last year in standing out,” he told Newcastle’s official website in an in-depth interview last week.
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“It’s the Youth Cup – the biggest youth competition there is so we just want to do well in it,” the 18-year-old told nufc.co.uk ahead of the third round game.
“These matches definitely rank at the top. I’d say it’s one of the most exciting games an academy player could play in. It’s such a historic competition and the team did very well last year so we want to try and replicate that.
The young striker admitted he has been pleasantly surprised with his current form and is aiming to create his own piece of history for his boyhood club after missing out on last year’s FA Youth Cup action.
He added: “I’ve supported Newcastle all of my life so to be a part of the club’s history with all of our names written in the books forever would be an amazing feeling.
“Personally, I want to do everything I can to help the team. This is what we’ve looked forward to for most of the season and if I can give my part by scoring or contributing for a goal, it would mean a lot.
“At the start of this season, I didn’t imagine (my goal scoring form) going this well. You always hope for a good goal scoring run but I’ve exceeded expectations and I’m happy that every week I can contribute to the team by scoring goals.
“I missed out on the Youth Cup last year, which was tough, but I want to put it right this year by making an impact and doing the best I can to try and win all the games.”
Ndiweni was born in Throckley, Newcastle to Zimbabwean parents and joined the Newcastle youth set-up at the age of 12.
Last year the young starlet, who is eligible to play for both his native England and Zimbabwe earned a spot in The Guardian newspaper’s Next Generation 2020, highlighting 20 of the best young talents at Premier League clubs.