Jonathan Mitchell

By Dan King - Newcastle United Digital Editor

Teenage goalkeeper Jonathan Mitchell will return to Borough Park on Wednesday night as Newcastle United under-21s take on non-league Workington (kick-off 7.30pm).

Last season, the Hartlepool-born shot-stopper enjoyed a successful loan spell with the Cumbrian outfit and is set to play between the posts for Willie Donachie and Peter Beardsley's side in the pre-season friendly.

After behind-closed-door defeats to Hamilton Academical and Southampton, it will be a first chance for supporters to watch the Magpies second-string in action this term and also offers Mitchell the opportunity to thank the Reds for their role in his development.

With Jak Alnwick away in Portugal with the senior squad, Mitchell has started both of Newcastle's under-21 friendlies so far having made his Reserve debut at the age of 16 against Manchester City in January 2011.

He signed a new one-year contract in the summer and told "I'm really looking forward to going back there - it should be good.

"It was a great experience for me there. I'd been used to playing under-18 and under-21 football but it means a bit more at that level. It's people's livelihoods, people's jobs, and it all feels a bit more important.

"You're playing against men and that was really useful. After the loan spell, I came back to Newcastle and played in a few under-18 games and I felt like I'd learnt a lot even in that short space of time.

"I like to think I did okay for them - the defenders helped me out a lot - and the management team were spot on. There was no shouting or anything, it was all encouragement.

"And the fans were great. They have a hardcore of 500 or so and even though the team weren't getting results at that time - they were down towards the wrong end of the table - the supporters were really good."

A talented cricket and rugby player as a schoolboy, Mitchell is now fully focused on football is looking forward to the new campaign.

He said: "I've come back this season feeling really good and I'm determined to make as much progress as I can. I was delighted to sign a new contract and it's a really big year for me.

"But I feel ready for it. It's been great to see Jak Alnwick involved with the first-team in pre-season and that gives you something to aim towards.

"And at under-21 level, the fixtures came out last week and there's some great games. It's exciting that a lot of them are 3pm kick-offs on Saturdays and of course there's a game at Anfield which we're all looking forward to."

Admission on Wednesday will be £10 for adults and £5 concessions.