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What dreams are made of - Findlay

Written by Rory Mitchinson

Stuart Findlay was in buoyant mood after making his first team bow for Newcastle United in Wednesday night’s 3-1 win over Birmingham City in the Emirates FA Cup.

Findlay was one of three members of United’s Under-23 side to make their debut against the Blues, with fellow young guns Dan Barlaser and Yasin Ben El-Mhanni also handed starting berths.

A summer arrival from Celtic, Findlay completed all 90 minutes as Matt Ritchie’s brace and a fine individual effort from Yoan Gouffran saw the Magpies through to the Fourth Round.

The 21-year-old admitted he was a little taken aback to be included from the outset – but acknowledged that the night could hardly have panned out better.

“It’s everything you dream of. After getting a call to say you’ll be training with the first team for a few days, you think you might get on the bench, or you might get five minutes, so to be given the news that you’re starting and then go out and win an FA Cup tie for Newcastle, it doesn’t get much better than that,” he told nufc.co.uk.

“Yasin and I came in at the same time, so we’ve been on the same journey. But, Dan and I have grew really close as well, and at the end of the game, we gave each other a big handshake. It means a lot to have done it together and we can all be proud of ourselves.

“The manager said he just wanted me to keep it simple, be relaxed, be aggressive, and I felt I just tried to do everything he told me to do. I made sure I kept my passes easy and worked my way into the game. Once I got into the game and got a bit of confidence, I felt I could start playing more as I can do, and hopefully he was impressed with how I did.”

Findlay partnered fellow countryman Grant Hanley in the heart of the backline, the former Blackburn Rovers defender already one of the more senior members of the Scottish national side, despite his relative youth.

After lauding Hanley’s influence on his own display, Findlay insists his feet will remain rooted firmly to the ground in the weeks to come – maintaining he will be more than happy to return to action for Peter Beardsley’s second-string when next called upon.

“I’m obviously a passionate Scotland fan, and Granty is the main man for Scotland at the back. He was incredible. Just the experience you gain in that 90 minutes alone – he gives you things you could never learn from training or read in a book. It’s all about the experience of playing with somebody like him. It was perfect for me,” he said.

“Once you get a taste of it once, you want to be back out there, but I’m not looking ahead to anything. If I need to play the next game for the 23s, then I’ll go out and just do what I’ve been doing. If I can keep doing that, you never know when your next chance will come.

“It’s all about doing it at whatever level you’re playing at, and trying to impress. The manager obviously has a big selection of players, and there are a lot of injuries at the moment – so maybe there’s been a bit of luck to get me involved in the first place. I’ll just keep doing the task I’m asked to do no matter what the level is, and whatever comes my way, I’ll try and succeed.”

“It’s everything you dream of. After getting a call to say you’ll be training with the first team for a few days, you think you might get on the bench, or you might get five minutes, so to be given the news that you’re starting and then go out and win an FA Cup tie for Newcastle, it doesn’t get much better than that."

Stuart Findlay

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