Matty Longstaff reveals what it was REALLY like scoring on his Newcastle United debut
Matty Longstaff isn’t normally lost for words.
But the Newcastle United midfielder was unusually quiet on the drive to St James’s Park yesterday with his elder brother Sean. That wasn’t surprising given the significance of the day.
Longstaff had found out a day earlier that he was going to make his Premier League debut – against Manchester United.
The stadium has witnessed some memorable debuts over the years, but what followed will rank with the very best of them. Longstaff went on to score the only goal of the game in the 72nd minute.
“It’s a bit of a dream,” said the 19-year-old. “I went to bed dreaming, and for it to happen is a bit surreal. It doesn’t get any better.
“I remember Jetro (Willems) getting it and thinking ‘I’ve got a bit of room here’. Jetro had the good vision and picked us out. I remember thinking ‘hit it – just hit it!’. Luckily it’s gone in the back of the net.”
Longstaff had been told he was playing after training on Saturday.
“I found out after training,” said Longstaff. “The gaffer read the team out. I can only thank the manager for putting us in and showing the faith that he has.
“Finding out your nerves start going. Driving to the ground I was dead quiet with Sean. Normally I’m pretty loud.
“Having Sean there really settled me down. I thought he was the best player on the pitch. I think playing with him only makes it easier for me. All the family were here, and I’m sure it’ll be a really proud moment for them.”
Longstaff’s father David, coach of the Whitley Warriors ice hockey team, missed their game against the Billingham Stars to be at St James’s Park.
“He missed the derby day, but if he missed that I don’t think he would ever forgive himself,” Longstaff told NUFC TV. “He was hemming and hawing about it, but I said to him ‘how many chances do you get to see me make my debut with my brother?’. He agreed with that, and especially now he’ll be happy he didn’t miss it.”
The Warriors won 8-3.