Dúbravka eager to progress under Benítez
Written by Tom Easterby
New signing Martin Dúbravka says he’s looking forward to continuing his progress under manager Rafa Benítez after penning a permanent deal with Newcastle United.
The Slovakian international completed his move from Sparta Prague last week, committing his future to the Magpies by inking a four-year deal.
Dúbravka impressed during his initial half-season loan spell at St. James’ Park, establishing himself as Benítez’s preferred choice between the posts.
And in an exclusive interview with NUFC TV this week, the 29-year-old revealed the United boss had played a big part in his fine start to life in England.
“He sent me a message one day before the official news came out. He told me that probably the next day they would do that, so I was happy that he phoned me before,” said Dúbravka, after the confirmation of his move. “I had a lots of calls and messages to answer, so it was good to note this answer from him.
“He’s the boss, he’s a very important person, and everybody knows it. Everybody in Newcastle probably wants him to stay in Newcastle for as long as possible. Probably also myself and my teammates also want him to stay in Newcastle, and since I came he tried to explain to me what he expected of me.
“He helped me a lot in the beginning, so I’m looking forward to working with him, also with Simon Smith and all the players and the staff, because it was on the top level.”
The deal will keep the goalkeeper on Tyneside until 2022.
It is an acquisition that has proved popular with Magpies supporters, and Dúbravka expressed his gratitude at the support he has received from them since his arrival and his relief that the uncertainty surrounding his future has now been quelled.
“It means a lot to me. I played only 12 games in Newcastle (last season), but it was something special for me. I was really glad after the last game against Chelsea when I heard my name from the crowd – it was an amazing feeling,” he said. “I wanted to stay there and enjoy that. It means a lot if you feel this connection between the fans, dressing room and the club.
“It’s hard to explain what is in my mind now. When I signed a contract in January, nobody knew what was going to happen in the summer. I was waiting too on what was going to happen.
“So I’m happy that I’m a Newcastle United player now for the four years, and I’m really looking forward to this journey.
“I didn’t know if it would only be for the half year or how long I would stay in Newcastle so I tried to show myself in the games and give everything for my teammates, the club and the fans, because they are supporting us in every game. I’m happy – you can see that.”
"It means a lot if you feel this connection between the fans, dressing room and the club."