Newcastle United defender hoping to follow in teammate's footsteps following loan move
Newcastle United youngster Lewis Cass is embracing the challenge of his first taste of regular senior football at Hartlepool United.
Cass played for Newcastle United under-23s against Hartlepool in a 1-1 draw back in August.
“I went into that game knowing that Hartlepool were looking at me," Cass told The Gazette.
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"I knew I had to perform which I think I did when I was on the pitch. So once Hartlepool said that they wanted to take me on loan then there was no looking back and I feel I’ve made the right decision.
“Playing against Hartlepool, there was a lot of good players and experienced pros.
“It’s a great club in the area, the set-up is brilliant, the pitch is top quality and the lads and the coaching staff have been great with me so far.”
Having been a regular in The Magpies’ under-23 set-up, Cass is determined to make his mark in senior football.
And he believes a spell at Pools is just what he needs at this stage in his career.
“I knew I had to get out there and play some senior football," he added.
"I’ve played against League One and League Two sides in the Checkatrade Trophy so hopefully that experience will only benefit me.
“Training and playing midweek and on the weekend here will be a challenge but that’s what I’m here for – to learn and to improve.”
On the move from the Premier League to the National League, Cass continued: “It’ll be a lot different but that's what I want to experience.
"At Premier League clubs, everything is there for you and obviously it’s not going to be the same here at Hartlepool but you need to have that experience to help you really.
"You need to learn to look after yourself as a senior player and to be fair, my first impression of Hartlepool is that everything is still very good.”
Cass can also take encouragement from fellow Magpies defender Paul Dummett, who after joining Gateshead on loan in the National League, quickly went on to establish himself in Newcastle's first team.“Looking at someone like Dummett gives me confidence,” admitted the 20-year-old right-back.
"I saw him do it with Gateshead so hopefully I can replicate the sort of impact he had there, here at Hartlepool.
"Hopefully in a few years time, I can be involved in the first team at Newcastle too.”
With eight games in the opening month of the National League season, Cass has been thrown headfirst into senior football, a challenge he’s relishing.
He said: “It’s a busy schedule but I’m looking forward to it and hopefully my legs aren’t too tired after it!
“That’s what I’ve come here for, the experience, and to play competitive games so it’ll be tough, but I’m really looking forward to it.
“I want to play every game and keep as many clean sheets as possible to help push Hartlepool towards the top of the league.
"Hopefully we can get promotion. I know the fans want us to be in the league above so hopefully we can perform on the pitch to help the club get there.”