FREDDIE Woodman says Newcastle United’s FA Youth Cup heartache will spur him on as he bids to show he is a safe pair of hands.
Woodman was in the Under-18s side knocked out of the competition by cup-holders Chelsea on Monday night.
A remarkable crowd of 11,664 at St James’s Park saw the quarter-final go into extra time after a goalless 90 minutes.
And Chelsea’s extra quality eventually told, with the visitors going on to win 3-0 to reach the last four for the sixth successive season.
Goalkeeper Woodman – who stopped an early penalty from his England Under-17 team-mate Isaiah Brown – feels the experience gained in this season’s Youth Cup will prove invaluable.
“To lose in the quarter-final of a cup is not nice,” Woodman told the Gazette. “Everyone was mentally and physically tired – we gave everything for 120 minutes.
“Everyone’s disappointed, but we’ve got to hold our heads up high. We did well and held a good Chelsea team at bay for 90 minutes.
“When it went into extra time, we couldn’t quite do it. They’re a good team, and they punished us.
“(Coach) Kevin Richardson said to us before the game that we had to leave everything on the pitch.
“We all gave it a good go, and we can take positives from the game. It’ll help us in our careers.”
On the crowd, Woodman added: “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.”
Penalty-specialist Woodman – who stopped two spot kicks in Newcastle’s fifth-round win over Sunderland at the Stadium of Light – was unfazed when the referee pointed to the spot after Jay Dasilva was brought down.
“I know Isaiah really well,” said Woodman. “I’ve been away with him since I was with the Under-16s with England.
“When you go away with England, you take penalties every day after training. I’ve just got a nice feeling that I’m going to save it when it comes to penalties.”
Woodman paid tribute to the tenacious defending in front of him.
“We’ve got some good lads tackling and throwing their bodies on the line,” said the 17-year-old, son of goalkeeping coach Andy.
“I think the Geordie boys are all crazy! It helps when you’ve got a great team spirit, and I think that showed when we went to Sunderland.”
Woodman – who turned professional late last season – has been on the first-team bench in recent weeks in the absence through injury of Rob Elliot.
And feels he is can fulfill his ambition of playing in the Premier League with Newcastle.
Woodman said: “I looked at the goalkeepers before and how they’d been brought through – Steve Harper, Fraser Forster and Tim – I thought to myself ‘this club is the best chance for me to get the Premier League’.”