Last night I was in attendance at St. James’ Park to watch the U-23’s in the their PL2 play off final against West Ham. Unfortunately, the boys missed out on promotion, losing narrowly to West Ham by 2 goals to 1.
It was a great effort from the second string, who’ve had a terrific season, but there was one player in particular who stood out for me. Tom Heardman.
The 21 year-old striker, born in Gosforth, caused West Ham all sorts of problems. His 6ft 4 frame was too much to handle for the opposition centre-backs, seeing Heardman hold up the play, win his aerial battles and bully anyone who competed with him for the ball.
He reminded me of a young Andy Carroll, protecting the ball so well and offering an imposing physical threat – grabbing his 7th goal of the season to boot.
Heardman’s contract is set to run out in the summer and following last night’s game, Peter Beardsley had the following to say about the academy product:
“I would recommend he stays for another year.That would be my opinion.
“We like him and love everything about him. He’s not loud or busy or full of himself.
“He gets it and he knows he’s not a Mitrovic or Daryl Murphy .
“But he has his own positives if you like.”
He is still raw, with plenty room for improvement, but he looks a real handful and one who could cause all sorts of problems and give us another option should he continue at the club.
One to watch perhaps. Here’s Hoping he’s handed a new deal.