Newcastle United youth team goalkeeper Freddie Woodman has told the Shields Gazette what’s impressed him most about playing in front of the club’s fans.
Woodman featured in the Newcastle side which lost to Chelsea in the FA Youth Cup earlier this week in front of a crowd of over 11,000 supporters.
“It was amazing – even when the game kicked off, there was people still flooding in. It’s really nice to see the fans looking to youth football,” said Woodman.
That level of support is something that very few other clubs will have the luxury of benefiting from and it creates a number of benefits for Woodman and the other talented youngsters in the Newcastle ranks.
It’s positive because it exposed them to a level of pressure and criticism, which not every player in the youth team ranks will be used to.
Ultimately, Woodman and the other youngsters at the club will have to get used to playing in front of large crowds, handling the nerves and funnelling the anxiety into something positive.
It’s a shame that the Newcastle youngsters weren’t able to reward the loyal support with a win, but it shows the passion and commitment that the Magpies fans have for their club.
That creates the effect of a 12th man for the under-18 side all the way through to the first team, and in the majority of tense situations that can make all the difference.