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All smiles for Miley after signing first pro deal

Written by Luke Vinton

Ten years on from joining Newcastle United's Academy, teenage midfielder Lewis Miley admitted signing his first professional contract with his boyhood club was "a great feeling".

The England under-17 international made his Magpies first-team debut in December's Diriyah Season Cup victory against Al-Hilal and was also named on the bench for United’s Premier League trip to AFC Bournemouth in February.

The Stanley-born youngster, who joined Newcastle’s Academy at the age of seven, has excelled at under-21 level this year, registering two goals and five assists in his last eight Premier League 2 fixtures and has agreed terms on a first professional deal.

The highly-rated 17-year-old told nufc.co.uk: “It’s a great feeling to sign my first professional contract, especially with my boyhood club. It’s something I’ve dreamt of since I was a kid. I’ve been at the Academy for a long time so to get to this point now is great and hopefully I can keep pushing on further in the future.

“I think the contract has been a reward for what I’ve done this season. I want to make sure I keep doing what I’m doing everyday and always try to improve."

Despite his tender age, Miley has already made significant steps in his fledgling career, training regularly with the Magpies’ first-team squad and reflected on a number of achievements the highly-rated youngster has recorded this term.

The former Tanfield School pupil added: “One of my favourite bits of the season would be playing for the first-team in Riyadh (against Al-Hilal). It was an unbelievable feeling to come on in front of a lot of fans and for a club who I’ve been at since I was a young age.

“Playing my first game at St. James’ Park for the first-team (against Rayo Vallecano) was even better, especially in front of the home supporters and hearing all the cheering as I came on. I loved it and gained a lot of experience. I’ve been playing for the under-21s regularly, which has been good, and I have been trying to get on the scoresheet or assist as much as possible.

“I think I’ve really kicked on with the under-21s this season. It’s been great with my development over the course of the season and hopefully I can continue to improve. I’ve also enjoyed playing with my older brother (Jamie), especially against Derby when I set him up for a goal. It was a great feeling and hopefully there are more moments like that to come."

It is not just club level Miley is excelling at, with the attacking midfielder representing on the international stage after featuring in the Young Lions’ European Under-17 Championship Elite Round qualifiers in the Netherlands, sealing their place in the finals later this month.

Miley has relished competing at international level and, if named in the squad for the tournament in Hungary, the promising teenager is aiming to emulate former Magpies Freddie Woodman and Adam Armstrong, who won the competition in 2014.

He added: “I’ve really enjoyed playing for England and representing my country. I’ve played with other players from different clubs, getting to know what they do at their clubs.

"Qualifying for the European Championships in Hungary was a great achievement and, hopefully, I can get into the team for the finals in May."

Miley will be hopeful of fulfilling his childhood dream of making his professional debut and reflected positively on his first involvement in a senior matchay squad for the Magpies after being an unused substitute, aged 16 at the time, for February’s 1-1 draw against Bournemouth.

With the likes of Sean Longstaff and Elliot Anderson solidifying places in the Newcastle's first-team squad after progressing from the Magpies’ Academy in recent years, Miley is bidding to emulate the pair’s pathway.

“Being on the bench for the game against Bournemouth was a great experience. Being around the first-team, travelling down with them for the game, was really enjoyable and I saw what goes on in the dressing room. The support from the away fans that day, too, was amazing.

“Seeing the likes of Sean (Longstaff) and Elliot (Anderson) playing for Newcastle’s first-team really inspires me and it’s great to see how they’ve both come with the club, which really drives me on to try and follow in similar footsteps."

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