All in all, Newcastle United’s decision to allow talented young goalkeeper Freddie Woodman to speed up his progression under the guise of former fans favourite Lee Clark at Kilmarnock seemed a good idea.
Until the 44-year-old left the club just a month later, however, taking over at League One Bury and leaving the short-term future of Woodman very much up in the air, as reported by Sky Sports.
Clark leaves Kilmarnock sitting rather pretty, sixth in the Scottish Premiership table, and the 19-year-old goalkeeper, who moved to Rugby Park in January alongside fellow Newcastle alumni Sean Longstaff and Callum Roberts, may find that his starting berth comes under renewed scrutiny in the coming weeks.
Woodman has started each of Kilmarnock’s last three Scottish Premiership fixtures but the fact that he was thrust in the XI by Clark elicited some degree of concern, particularly from previous number one Jamie MacDonald.
Arguably Kilmarnock’s most consistent performer since Clark took over at Rugby Park a year ago, he told the Daily Record that he was left ‘beating himself up’ after the youngster usurped him in the first-team, questioning his manager’s decision.
However, the previous arrangement had been working out rather well for Woodman and Newcastle. After all, he was behind Karl Darlow (below), Rob Elliot and perhaps Matz Sels in the pecking order so the fact he was now getting regular action elsewhere justified the decision to loan him out mid-season.
Nonetheless, a new manager will have his own preferences and Woodman could find that his run in the first team is under threat after just three games.