Ex-Black Cat relishing facing boyhood heroes Newcastle

HIGHLY-RATED ... Darlington midfielder Jamie Chandler grew up supporting Newcastle.
HIGHLY-RATED ... Darlington midfielder Jamie Chandler grew up supporting Newcastle.

DARLINGTON midfielder Jamie Chandler can’t wait to lock horns with Newcastle United tomorrow night.

Chandler, from Boldon, was a Toon fan as a youngster, and the former Sunderland man admits he is excited about the prospect of lining up against his boyhood idols at the Northern Echo Arena.

“I grew up having a season ticket for Newcastle, and I can’t wait for tomorrow night’s game,” he said.

“It is a great opportunity for us to pit ourselves against some fantastic players.

“Newcastle are a massive club and have players of international and Premier League quality, so for us to get the chance to go up against them is superb.

“We know it is going to be very tough for us, but hopefully that will stand us in good stead for the season ahead.

“From a personal point of view, I will get to lock horns with Joey Barton, who is a fantastic player, so I’m really up for it.”

Despite being an ardent United supporter as a kid, Chandler joined rivals Sunderland from a very young age, but left last summer joining the Quakers in pursuit of first-team football.

As a Black Cats youngster he faced United on many occasions, and he is hoping that history could repeat itself.

He said: “It’s strange, but whenever I faced Newcastle at Sunderland I used to have a habit of scoring against them.

“I certainly wouldn’t mind if that continued tomorrow night.

“But whatever the result, we are really just looking for a good performance as a team.

“Whether it be the younger players or the older lads who have been there and done it, this a great chance to show what we can do against quality opposition.

“We’re really looking forward to getting started.”