French Star Wants Premier League Full Of Geordies!

Last updated : 21 January 2014 By Footy Mad - Editor

 ... that honour(?) goes to George Eastham who wanted to leave to join - guess who - Arsenal.

Olivier Bernard spent the better part of five years at Newcastle, some of it under Sir Bobby Robson, and he went on strike and threatened to take the club to court because he wanted to join West Ham.

Now the Frenchman wants to help Newcastle and the Mackems produce stars of the future.

Now 34, Bernard has bought Durham City AFC.

Rather than see the influx of French players in the North-East continuing, he wants to see the Geordie kids make the great.

Olivier Bernard: “I wasn’t a big player but I was part of a big team.

“Looking back, what we achieved as a team, we didn’t win anything but we threatened every single team.

"We entertained the fans, and did what we could to win games. We were playing attacking football, and that’s what people enjoyed.

"Every time we were going to restaurants, to the pub, people were buzzing. I had a wonderful time.

“I was just about to set up an academy in the North East.

“The two owners came across and showed me the setup. I thought it could be quite a good -- rather than just have an academy -- to have a club and see it from bottom to top.

“Durham is a city, not a town, and that made the difference.

“There’s a lot more people in Durham than any other club at that level. The setup is fantastic.

“I was born in Paris, then played for Lyon for seven years.

“In terms of academy football I know what it takes to make it, and we’ll look to set up something similar.

“I want to get players who went through the net academy-wise at big clubs, players who’ve been released and still got something to give.

“I think what’s going to happen is that older players will be coming in to coach for a night or coming to finish their career.

“I’m happy with everybody.

“My intention is not to make a revolution, but I am a football man and my stamp will be making sure the team is happy, the players are playing well.

"The club deserve better, that’s what I’m going to try and achieve.”

“I don't think the area develops enough youngsters.

“I believe that players should do repetition.

“For young players it’s about repetition, if you ask the player to play with the ball when he gets older he’ll do it fantastically if you tell him how to play football.

“I think in the North East there are not enough players in the Premier League and that’s because there are not enough clubs playing higher up.

“The more clubs that are playing higher up the better for the region.”