Harper Tells Us Why

Steve Harper has explained why he has left his post at Newcastle United.

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Harper was appointed as the club's lead Academy goalkeeping coach last summer.

The 44-year-old was working alongside Under-23 coach Ben Dawson and with goalkeepers Nathan Harker and Otto Huuhtanen.

However, the former United goalkeeper – who made 199 first-team appearances for the club – has stepped down following Monday night's Premier League 2 Division Two promotion play-off defeat to Southampton.

In a social media post, Harper: "Thank you very much to everyone @NUFC Academy for their help and support with my role as Lead U17-23 GK Coach this season.

"I've really enjoyed working with Nathan & Otto in the excellent U23 campaign as well as witnessing the progress & development of both of the U18 GKs and many of the talented young GKs in the Academy.

"However given the enormous time commitment working across both age groups this is a role I will not be able to continue with.

"Also, my youngest son is going into NUFC Academy as an U9 GK and I don't wish to be seen as a help and/or hindrance to his development by being in the same department as him and want to support him as a parent by giving him a clear run at hopefully representing this great club one day."

Harper, a patron of the Newcastle United Foundation, recently started working with Northern Ireland's goalkeepers.

"I will continue my role as Trustee of our fantastic NUFC Foundation as well as pursuing other opportunities in the game and look forward to continuing a great start to our Euro 2020 campaign next month with Northern Ireland," said Harper.

"Well done to Rafa (Benitez), the lads and all of the staff this season too."