'A great feeling' - Willems reflects on making United debut
Written by Luke Vinton
Jetro Willems expressed his delight in making his debut for Newcastle United as the Magpies ended their pre-season campaign with a 2-1 home win against AS Saint-Étienne.
Joelinton's first goal at St. James' Park on his home debut, along with a maiden senior strike from teenage midfielder Matty Longstaff, gave United a comfortable lead over their Ligue 1 opponents before former Newcastle defender Mathieu Debuchy set up a nervy finish with a late header.
And Willems, who was brought on as a second-half substitute for United's final pre-season friendly of the summer, expressed his delight in making his maiden appearance for the Magpies.
The left-back told nufc.co.uk: "I thought we were really good in the first half and then, in the second half, we had new players coming into the team like myself. We played well and the most important thing was to win the game.
"It was a great feeling to make my debut for Newcastle United. It is a big club with great fans. When I came onto the pitch, it was like 'now it's really starting'. Next week, we play against Arsenal so it's a big game for us.
"The victory is great preparation for next week. To win a game before the main competition starts definitely gives you that extra bit of motivation.
"I'm really hungry for success as well as the whole of the team. You could see it today and see that we have a team which has very talented players.
Steve Bruce's side host Arsenal on Sunday, 11th August in the Magpies' opening Premier League fixture of the 2019/20 season.
Willems, who joined Newcastle on a season long-loan deal from Bundesliga outfit Eintracht Frankfurt, is relishing the chance to make a positive impression on his new club.
The 25-year-old Dutchman added: "We have a good team and the opportunities are so big at the club with the players we have. They have brought me in on loan but I hope to have a good journey with the football club.
"I don't want to look at the past. I only want to move forward and concentrate on each day, day-by-day. The most important things are to stay fit, play a lot and have a nice time at Newcastle.
"I enjoyed my first day, especially getting the win. I'm very happy after today's game."