By Dan King - Newcastle United Club Reporter
Winger Michael Hoganson made his Reserve debut in Thursday's defeat to West Bromwich Albion and has now set his sights on making the step up from Academy level to second-string football on a regular basis.
The 18-year-old has been with Newcastle since scout Peter Kirkley recommended him to the club as a 13-year-old, and has broken into Dave Watson's table-topping under-18s side on a regular basis this term.
Now he has made the next step, playing the opening 45 minutes against the Baggies and although United ended up losing 4-1 the scores were level when he came off at the break after an energetic showing on the left flank.
And the former Cowgate Boys Club youngster - who was part of the Magpies squad for last season's Torneo di Viareggion in Tuscany - told nufc.co.uk: "It's going really, really well for me and hopefully I can keep going.
"I've been playing a lot for the under-18s and scoring quite a little bit as well, and now to come to the Reserves and play as well is really good for me.
"I'm happy about it, but obviously the defeat puts you down a little bit.
"I've been on the bench a few times, and I went away to Italy and played across there but mainly because of the Youth Cup, I never got up here as much as I'd like to. But now hopefully I can try for the last bit of the season.
"I want to get up here (the first-team training ground) as much as I can and try to stay up here as well."
Newcastle have now not won a Barclays Premier Reserve League match since January - a sequence spanning seven games - with a handful of fringe players either out on loan or injured.
Against West Brom, the midfield was made up entirely of Academy players and although United more than matched the Baggies in the first hour, they collapsed late on when Alex Jones put the visitors ahead for a second time and Romaine Sawyers went on to complete a hat-trick.
"We did alright in the first half and we got about them, but in the second half we slackened off a little bit and started to lose our heads so it's disappointing," he said.
"It's hard with the squad that we've got at the moment. You've got a few older lads and then you've got all of our age having to come in, so you don't really know if you're going to feature or not in any of the games. But you've just got to get on with it the best you can and try and win every game."