Newcastle United confirm key change to Eddie Howe’s coaching staff

The former non-league goalkeeper started his at Newcastle United - and has now landed a coaching role with Eddie Howe’s first-team.

Adam Bartlett has landed a first-team coaching role at Newcastle United. Adam Bartlett has landed a first-team coaching role at Newcastle United.
Adam Bartlett has landed a first-team coaching role at Newcastle United.

Former Blyth Spartans and Gateshead goalkeeper Adam Bartlett has been promoted to Eddie Howe’s backroom team at Newcastle United.

The 36-year-old had been involved in the academy, where he was once a player, during the latter stages of his playing days before stepping up to under-23s goalkeeping coach when he retired in 2019.

Bartlett enjoyed a successful non-league career, which saw him represent the likes of Blyth, Gateshead, Hartlepool United, Darlington and York City across a 14-year period.

After making a number of key backroom changes since his arrival as head coach, Eddie Howe was eager to add an additional goalkeeping coach to his team.

NewcastleWorld understands Bartlett was recommended to Howe by figures behind the scenes and was subsequently asked to assist current head of goalkeeping Simon Smith.

Smith has enjoyed two coaching spells at St James’ Park, first under Ruud Gullit and Sir Bobby Robson before leaving his role at England FA to return in 2015 when Steve McClaren arrived.

Both Bartlett and Smith have been seen together at United’s recent matches, putting Martin Dubravka, Karl Darlow and Mark Gillespie through their paces ahead of kick-off.

On Thursday, the confirmation arrived that Bartlett had indeed landed the first-team goalkeeping role permanently.

Some supporters had questioned if that meant Smith had left Newcastle, however it is understood the pair will work together.

It was also revealed that former Newcastle goalkeeper Tony Caig had returned to the club as Head of Academy Goalkeeping, 16 years after his departure as a player.

Caig, formerly a goalkeeping coach at Scottish Premiership side Dundee United, was signed by Robson in 2003 to provide backup to Shay Given and Steve Harper.

Indeed, it was Harper, noq in charge of United’s academy, that opted to bring Caig back to the North East.

Harper said: “We’re delighted to welcome Tony back to the club as Head of Academy Goalkeeping.

“Tony joins us with a remit to look at every aspect of the Academy goalkeeping programme and align it to the changes we’ve made to the coaching programme here at the Academy.

“Tony is vastly experienced both as a player and coach and leaves first-team football to join us. We are now at over 20 staffing changes in the last 12 months and the excellent addition of someone of Tony’s pedigree demonstrates the progress we continue to make.”

Caig will be based at the Magpies’ academy on a day-to-day basis and will play a leading role in the development of the club’s ‘keepers at under-23s level.

He’ll also plan, organise and monitor the academy’s overall goalkeeping programme from the youngest age.

Speaking about his appointment, Caig said: “I’m delighted to be offered the opportunity to take up the position. Once I was contacted by Steve Harper and talked through the specifics of the role, I knew it was something that I wanted to take on and, along with the other coaching staff, really help to develop the Academy Goalkeeping department.

“As a player, I was fortunate enough to be in a supporting role as part of the squad during the Sir Bobby Robson era so when the opportunity came about to return and work with some of the same people who are now at the club in different positions, it made the decision very easy for me.

“I also look forward to building relationships with new staff members that I’ve not had the chance to work with before.”

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