Former Newcastle forward Shola Ameobi had nothing but praise for owners Amanda Staveley and Mehrdad Ghodoussi after he officially opened the Foundation’s NUCASTLE home earlier this week.
The £8 million construction is situated near St James’ Park and is a state-of-the-art sports facility expecting to welcome the next generation of young Newcastle fans after opening on Tuesday.
The facility includes cycling studios, specialist STEM rooms, esports rooms, four-court sports halls, changing areas, event and meeting spaces and more.
Eddie Howe and club captain Jamaal Lascelles both joined Shola for the grand opening, making no secret that the club are trying to establish a much stronger link to the local community.
Ameobi was quick to reveal how passionate Staveley and Ghodoussi were on this project and that they aimed to build this connection almost immediately after finalising their ownership of the club.
Here’s what the 40-year-old had to say, followed by an official clip from the opening day:
“They’ve been down, they’ve seen the facilities.
“One of the first things they did when they came in was have meetings with Steve Beharall (Head of the Foundation) just to understand what the foundation was and what it did.
“They wanted to make sure the club had that connection.
“Every time I’ve met with Amanda (Staveley) and Mehrdad (Ghodoussi), they’ve been nothing short of amazing in terms of what they want to do now and their plans moving forward.
“It only bodes well for us as a club and the foundation with the vision they have. I’m sure they’ll talk about it more as we move forward.
“They’ve been fantastic throughout this whole process.”
The former striker who is currently working at the club as loan manager explained just how disastrous the previous regime under Mike Ashley had been and how he now feels excited for the future.
“As an ex-sportsman now, you want to know that you’re moving forward and you’re building something.
“For me, it would have been very frustrating not really knowing where we’re going as a club and what the vision was. It was very murky.
“To have owners who want to have a clear vision and are doing their due diligence as we speak in terms of where the club is at, but really wanting to benchmark against other top Premier League clubs.
“That’s where you want to be, that’s where the fans want to be. Me, as a fan as well, it’s really exciting. I’m hopeful for the future.”