Back to the future for Newcastle United
Paul Brayson this week branded Kevin Keegan's treatment of the Newcastle United youth team as "shocking" when reflecting on the removal of second string football back in 1995.
It's rare to hear a bad word said about KK but Brayson certainly had a point.
Don't get me wrong, Keegan illuminated St James' Park during his stint as United manager and the best years of my life came from watching the Entertainers sweep teams aside without a care in the world.
But it was a dark day when KK scrapped the reserve team and left many of the club's youngsters with little hope of getting anywhere near the first team picture - and jeopardised the club's future until Kenny Dalglish restored the reserves years later.
Football has moved on since those days with emphasis on Academy football now as important as ever.
Whether we like it or not, Newcastle United's current stance is to focus heavily on bringing their own players through the system and into the first team picture.
The worry of course is whether United can get the balance right of promoting young players through the system and strengthen the first team squad with the right blend of senior players this summer.
Relying only on promoting from within is dangerous - not every player will be an Andy Carroll.
The sale of Carroll also shows that United are prepared to sell those assets on if the right price comes along pretty much in the same way Ajax have operated down the years just over the North Sea.
However, it didn't stop over 2,000 Toon fans coming to see what lies beneath the first team scene last night.
Last night they witnessed the reserves demolish Blyth Spartans in resounding manner.
But although, Newcastle United reserves should be a class above a non-league team there was still something appealing about the way they went about their task.
They done it with a display of attacking football that I'm sure Keegan's Entertainers would have been proud of.
Sure, they couldn't keep up their rate of conviction in front of goal after building up a 3-0 lead in the first 35 minutes but there were still plenty of performances that caught the eye.
Last year the FA Youth Cup team that reached the semi-finals contained Phil Airey, Jeff Henderson, Sam Ameobi, Brad Inman, Greg McDermott and James Tavernier and all of them have made progress this season with steady seasons in the reserves and a sniff of the first team.
With Michael Richardson - signed from non-league Walker Central - now also joining the party.
The aim of Peter Beardsley, Willie Donachie and Joe Joyce is clearly to get as many of them as possible into first team contention.
And if the words of Beardo and the United coaching staff are to be believed, there could be more than just hope for some of the current crop.