Haris Vuckic

By Dan King - Newcastle United Club Reporter

Haris Vuckic was part of the first group of players to return to Newcastle United's Benton training ground for pre-season testing on Wednesday, and the Slovenian starlet knows that the upcoming campaign could be an important one for him.

The talented 20-year-old missed most of last term with a cruciate ligament injury suffered towards the end of a Barclays Under-21 Premier League fixture at Aston Villa last October.

It was particularly cruel as Vuckic had made good progress in the early weeks of the season, including scoring his first senior goal in the Europa League fourth qualifying round against Atromitos.

However, having reported back fully fit this week - after working hard in the gym over the summer to ensure he's in the best possible condition - he is now looking to make up for lost time and told nufc.co.uk: "I need to show everybody that I deserve to play and show them what I can do.

"I've been missing playing football and showing the fans what I'm capable of so I can't wait for the season to start.

"I think I started last season very well - I got chances, played against Manchester United at Old Trafford and scored the goal that put Newcastle through to Europe so it was good.

"But now the most important thing for me is that I'm fit and can start to enjoy playing football."

Vuckic is likely to be given an opportunity to stake a claim for a first-team place during the Magpies' pre-season friendly fixtures.

But, having previously enjoyed a successful loan spell in the Championship with Cardiff City, he is open to the possibility of gaining further experience elsewhere in much the same way as Shane Ferguson and Sammy Ameobi did last term.

He said: "If I couldn't be close to the first team, I will do a plan with the gaffer like we always have and go somewhere on loan.

"Loans are good for experience and I'm still young so I have to learn, and if I can't get a chance here I'll go out on loan next year."

To pre-order United's new training kit for the 2013/14 season, click here