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From Wembley To Whitley Park

NUFC Logo Newcastle United FC

That's the story for young Curtis Good, who was in second-string action for Newcastle less than a fortnight after playing in the Capital One Cup final

By Dan King - Newcastle United Club Reporter

Less than two weeks after starting in the final of the Capital One Cup at Wembley, Curtis Good was turning out at Whitley Park for Newcastle United's under-21s against Manchester City.

The Australian defender helped Bradford become the first team from the fourth tier of English football to reach a League Cup final since 1962 during a loan spell, but that has now come to an end and so it's back to reality for the 19-year-old.

But although he admits it was quite a contrast between playing at the national stadium to running out at a ground which hosts Northern League second division matches when the Magpies second-string aren't in action, Good was not complaining.

He learnt and experienced a great deal in his three months with the Bantams, from City being expelled from and then reinstated to the FA Cup due to Good playing when ineligible against Brentford to being watched by millions around the world as his side took on Swansea at Wembley. And now he's looking to use that to his advantage at Newcastle.

"I can't deny that Wembley was unbelievable," he told nufc.co.uk. "The actual game wasn't so good but it was an amazing experience. But I'm still glad to be back here. It's a bit different, for definite, but it's good to be back.

"Obviously it was a completely different game (to the final) but I suppose the only real difference is I wasn't nervous here, which is good in a way because you can just come out and do the job. At Wembley we were chasing Swansea all over the pitch but here we had a lot more of the ball and we try and play.

"So it was good to come and play again and I thought we did well. It was a shame at the end - we were a bit unfortunate with the goal - but Stevie Logan scored a great strike and especially in the second half we came out and played a bit more.

"They did have a couple of sharp players up front and in midfield so the boys did well, especially the youngsters that came into the squad. The team has changed a bit since I was last here, with a few of the Academy boys coming in, and I thought they did really well."

Just like in the Capital One Cup final, Good played at left-back in Friday's 1-1 draw against City and it was clear just how much has gained from his time in League Two.

"There were ups and downs," he said as he looked back at his spell with Bradford. "When I first got there, there was a bit of controversy with the FA Cup and not being registered, so it didn't get off to the best start.

"But after that it turned round a bit and I started playing a few games, and then obviously the cup run. It's fair to say it started at a low point but got better after that. I suppose that's football in general.

"To be honest, it had never even crossed my mind playing in a cup final. It's hard enough trying to get in the first-team, let alone making it to a cup final, but it's credit to the Bradford boys. I was there before the Arsenal game and played against Aston Villa and in the final but they'd done all the hard work.

"They'd played Watford and Wigan and teams like that before so credit to them. they worked hard and they deserved it."

Curtis Good plays at Wembley

And so despite the disappointing 5-0 loss in the final, Good came away with a medal - although he admitted he will probably cherish it more in years to come.

"I suppose you'll appreciate it later on in your career more than you do at the moment," he said with the pain of defeat still evident on his face.

"But it's good to have something like that. I sent it back to Australia - my parents came up for the game so it's back there with them.

"You can play in the Ressies and it's good, you'll improve, but if you want to make that big step from the Ressies to the first-team you go and get that experience. It's vital if you want to improve.

"League Two's different for a centre-half - it's a lot more about clearing the ball, winning your headers, the fundamentals of the game, and it's important to be good at that as well.

"I'm not sure what's happening at the moment - I'm not sure if I'm going back on loan yet or if I'll stay here for the rest of the season but like I said, it is a good change to be back on the ball here. We'll see what happens and what comes along.

"But looking ahead, I definitely want to get in the first-team here. That's definitely a goal of mine."