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Longstaff presented with commemorative debut matchball

Newcastle United midfielder Sean Longstaff received a commemorative debut matchball from the Premier League this week, marking his top-flight bow against Liverpool.

The 21-year-old – who could be in line to feature for the Magpies when they return to Anfield on Saturday – made his first league appearance for United on Boxing Day when he came off the bench to replace Kenedy with just over quarter of an hour remaining of the eventual 4-0 defeat.

And this week he was presented with a cased matchball by the Premier League in recognition of the academy graduate’s achievement in his breakthrough year at St. James’ Park, which saw him make a further eight appearances in the Premier League.

“It’s pretty amazing that I ended up getting on that day – it was just unbelievable,” said Longstaff, who collected the award at the Magpies’ academy.

“The atmosphere was immense and obviously the result wasn’t great, but in 20 years’ time no one is going to remember that. I’m just going to remember that I was lucky enough to make my debut in such a great stadium.

“It was probably the most nervous I’ve ever been running in a straight line. It’s just so crazy that I was in that position and to make it on such an occasion, when they were still going for the league at the time and the place was buzzing, and to be on the pitch with those world class players for the first time was amazing. It’s something I look back on with really happy memories.”

As part of the Premier League initiative, home-grown players are given commemorative matchballs – in a personalised, engraved case – following their debuts.

Longstaff has now played 13 times in the top flight, scoring once – against Burnley at St. James’ Park last term.

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