Newcastle United notebook: Toon Oz trip hailed success as Melbourne welcomes 40,000 fans & £3m FFP boost


Newcastle United left Australia with a £3million cash boost after staging two matches in Melbourne with Toon chiefs enthusiastic about a return Down Under in upcoming pre-seasons.

The 20,000 round mile trip was hailed a success by Newcastle chiefs despite an 8-0 hammering as a second string side running on empty suffered a difficult night at the Marvel Stadium in a heavy loss against the Australian A-League All Stars.

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Toon CCO Peter Silverstone spent time chatting with fans Down Under at a fan event at the Crown Casino with many underlining to him that the Australian Toon Army are just as hungry to see Newcastle return as fans in the US, Middle East and the Far East.

The TEG Group's CEO Geoff Jones, who organised the events this week in Melbourne, said: "We have seen up to 40,000 patrons travel from interstate and overseas to Melbourne to watch these matches, and I want to thank all our key partners, especially the Victorian Government and Visit Victoria for their great support in making this event happen.

"This has been a fantastic week of football in Melbourne and it’s a true honour to play a role in bringing three major English football clubs to Australia."

Alfie Harrison the star name on show in reserve team trip to Hong Kong

Newcastle's reserves are heading over to Hong Kong for the Soccer Sevens tournament this weekend. And Harrison will be on of the young stars on show in the Far East.

Harrison's omission from the squad that travelled to Australia raised eyebrows given the lack of numbers for Newcastle. Newcastle start their campaign on Saturday against Tai Po (kick-off 8.44am BST) before taking on fellow English side Leicester City (kick-off 9.52am BST) and Singapore Cricket Club (kick-off 11.34am BST).

Harrison says: "It's something we're all looking forward to. It's a new experience for most of us and we are going there to win, that's the main aim, and prove ourselves over there so people can see what we're about. It would be nice to win a piece of silverware."

Newcastle party will be back in time for FA Cup final

Eddie Howe will be back in the UK in time to take his seat at home for the FA Cup final. The game is crucial for United with a Man City victory enough to send the Magpies back into Europe.

Howe was pleased to hear the schedule of the travel itinerary would mean he'd be able to sit down with a cup of tea back on home soil after a long week. Howe told me in Melbourne: "We will have landed so I might get the chance to see the game."