Freddie Woodman


By Dan King - Newcastle United Digital Editor

Young goalkeeper Freddie Woodman won't forget Monday night's game at Arsenal in a hurry.

Newcastle lost 3-0 to a rampant Gunners side at the Emirates but the 17-year-old enjoyed his first taste of senior experience.

With Rob Elliot a doubt ahead of the match, England youth international Woodman travelled to London with the rest of the squad. And although in the end Elliot was able to take his place on the bench come 8pm, Woodman stayed in the team hotel and warmed up on the Emirates turf.

Speaking to nufc.co.uk from inside the players' tunnel at the Gunners' magnificent stadium, he said: "It's unbelievable to come away with the first team for the first time.

"The whole experience has been a dream come true. It's a disappointing result for the boys but for me personally it's been fantastic.

"I came into training on Sunday and 'Tommo' (Ray Thompson) the kit man said 'what number do you want for tomorrow?'

"I was like 'what are you on about, Tommo, what are you going on about?'

"He said 'you're travelling tomorrow' and the next thing I know, I'm on the plane travelling down to the Emirates. It's just crazy."

The teenager - who opted for number 47 - added: "I've got friends who are season tickets here (at Arsenal) and I used to come here all the time and watch Arsenal so to come here and be in the changing room and warm up on the pitch was, like I said, a dream come true.

"It really makes me hungry. I want to kick on from here. You've seen with the manager, he can put young people in like Adam Armstrong."

Having been in outstanding form for Newcastle at under-18 level and helped England to qualify for the UEFA European Under-17 Championships in Malta, Woodman only made his under-21 debut for the Magpies last week - ironically against Arsenal.

And as he reflected on a whirlwind few days, he smiled: "It's been one of those weeks, really.

"I feel like I've really kicked on in training and the likes of Tim (Krul) have been helping me massively.

"We've both said that my game has improved and I feel like for my hard work, I've got a little bit of a reward.

"But I won't stop there. I'm still hungry and I want to keep going and keep going.

"I go away (with England) on Saturday and then we'll see what happens after that."