Introducing Jack Young, Matt Bondswell, Oisín McEntee and Max Thompson
Written by Luke Vinton
Four new faces have been included in Steve Bruce's first-team squad ahead of facing Doncaster Rovers at the Keepmoat Stadium this evening (kick-off 7pm BST).
The quartet, consisting of Jack Young, Matt Bondswell, Oisín McEntee and Max Thompson, are yet to feature for the Magpies at senior level but have all been named on the bench ahead of Friday's pre-season friendly against the League One outfit - as has Tom Allan, who made his senior bow in the Emirates FA Cup against Rochdale in January 2020.
Young, who hails from Morpeth and has been with Newcastle since the age of seven, was named on the bench for three of United's Premier League fixtures during the 2019/20 campaign before spending the first half of the following season on loan at League Two outfit Tranmere Rovers, returning to his boyhood club in January.
Speaking to NUFC TV in July 2020 after experiencing his first taste of Premier League duty with Newcastle at Manchester City, the 20-year-old central midfielder said: "It was surreal being part of the team. I was really hoping to get that chance before the end of the season.
"When there was a few lads picking up niggles, I thought it was a good opportunity so I was really happy to get the call. It gives me more determination to keep on training and trying to compete at the level that you need to be to get in the squad again."
Bondswell, who linked up with the Magpies' under-23 squad in March following his departure from Bundesliga outfit RB Leipzig, made his professional debut at the age of 18 whilst on loan at Dutch side FC Dordrecht, keeping a clean sheet in the process.
A representative of England from under-15 to under-18 level, the rapid left-back progressed through Nottingham Forest's youth ranks before relocating to Germany in the summer of 2018 and believes his experiences abroad have benefited the teenager both as a player and person.
The 19-year-old full-back told nufc.co.uk back in March: "Being on loan at Dordrecht in Holland helped me a lot too. Being in and around a men's environment in football is a really big thing, especially for younger players, and just like my time in Germany it also matured me.
"I had to be more independent and do a lot more things for myself which only brought positive things. I learnt a lot about myself and it helped shape me into the person I am."
McEntee, who joined the Magpies' youth set-up in 2017 from Irish club Malahide United, is a centre-back who has represented Republic of Ireland from under-17 to under-21 level.
The Irish defender, who scored on his debut for United's second-string in January 2019, tested positive for Covid-19 at the beginning of the 2020/21 campaign, ruling the youngster out for three months, before returning to competitive action for United's second-string at the end of the year.
"I was out for three months and I wasn't allowed to do a lot of exercise so it was great for me to get back into training," the 20-year-old told nufc.co.uk back in January.
"It was a tough time being out for that long so it's good to be back. I'd never been out for that long before so it was very challenging. I think I reacted well and worked hard to get back to full fitness so I'm happy and proud of myself."
Thompson is a 16-year-old goalkeeper who featured on the bench during United's pre-season friendly defeat at York City last week.
The rookie shot-stopper made his under-23s debut in November and was part of the Magpies' under-18 side which reached the FA Youth Cup quarter-finals last term.