First year to first team: Cass' 'rollercoaster' season
Written by Luke Vinton
After returning from a long-term injury in February, Lewis Cass expressed his delight in being selected for Newcastle's first team squad against Fulham.
The Academy graduate, who signed his first professional contract with United last summer, broke into the Magpies' second-string before suffering an ankle injury in November, sidelining the Newcastle-born teenager for three months.
Since his comeback to competitive action, Cass has featured regularly for the successful under-23 squad this term and earned a spot in Newcastle's first team squad during their final Premier League fixture of the season - a 4-0 away victory over Fulham.
The 19-year-old told nufc.co.uk: "It’s been a bit of an emotional rollercoaster. When I first heard the news I was going to be on the bench (for the first-team) I was buzzing and I couldn’t stop smiling. It is definitely one of the biggest moments in my career so far.
"It’s something that I’ve always dreamed to be a part of since I was a young lad. When I found out I was travelling, it was great. I phoned my family straight away and they had the same feeling as myself.
"During the game (against Fulham), I got told to start getting warmed up with 20 minutes to go so the butterflies started. I was thinking to myself that I could make my Premier League debut here."
In the space of six days, Cass experienced the highs of gaining a place in the first team squad of his boyhood club whilst suffering two agonising final defeats with Newcastle's second-string.
Cass, who can play in a full-back and centre-back role, has been pleased with the second-string's campaign, which included a respective run to the Checkatrade Trophy last 16 and amassing the most points (40) by the club's reserve squad for a decade, and has his sights firmly set on more success next term.
He added: "Obviously losing to Everton 1-0, after we controlled the game for large periods, was a bit of a kick in the teeth and going into Southampton we were all confident but as a team, we didn’t turn up in the first half which cost us really.
"However, I didn’t really expect the season for me to go as well. I thought I started the season well and managed to get a bit of momentum going but I then got a long injury which put me back a little. Reaching two cup finals and being on the bench for the first team is a great achievement for me personally and hopefully next season I can keep pushing to get more opportunities like Sunday.
"It's been a great season! Obviously, we wanted to win both of the finals but sometimes in football it doesn't go as planned. Coming into the season, nobody thought we would get as far as we did since we had a young squad. I think that is because we have a togetherness in this group that other teams maybe don't have."