By Danny Wright

Owen Bailey has admitted that he will find it difficult to earn a starting place in the Newcastle squad after signing a new deal with the club.

The defender is one of a number of youth players to agree new contracts at St. James’ Park this summer.

Yannick Aziakonou, Owen Gallacher, Nathan Harker, Mackenzie Heaney, Ben Kitchen, Oliver Long, Lewis McNall, Callum Smith and Craig Spooner were all given new contracts by Newcastle after their impressive showings in the development teams this term.

Peter Beadsley’s Under-23 side almost secured promotion the Division 1 of Premier League 2, but fell at the final hurdle in the play-off final as they lost to West Ham.

That hasn’t curbed Bailey’s enthusiasm though, as he has his eyes set on the upcoming campaign.

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“I can’t wait. I’m just hoping to hit the ground running and try to be in the starting team next year,” said the 18-year-old to Newcastle’s official club website.

“Obviously that’ll be difficult because there’s so many good players, but I’ll do my best to get into the team.”

Bailey made 27 appearances across Newcastle’s youth teams this season, scoring two goals in all competitions.

The majority of his playing time came with the Under-18 side, but he soon became an important part of the Under-23s, playing in every minute of the play-offs.

The young Magpies beat Fulham 2-0 in the semi-final with Bailey keeping a clean sheet in the heart of the defence.

However a 2-1 loss to the Hammers at St. James’ Park ruined their chance at promotion, despite taking an early lead from Tom Heardman’s goal.

In other Newcastle news, a Championship manager has said how he has rejected a Toon bid for this player.

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