Callum Wilson: Newcastle United will ‘reap the rewards’ of behind the scenes upgrade

Callum Wilson believes Newcastle United's players will soon start to ‘reap the rewards’ of a big change going on behind the scenes at the club.

Back in June, plans were approved to upgrade Newcastle’s Darsley Park training complex in Benton.

The single-storey side and rear extension plans include improved dining facilities, hydrotherapy and plunge pools, a new players’ lounge, new medical treatment rooms, presentation and changing room upgrade, as well as new offices.

As Newcastle headed to Austria and Portugal during pre-season, building work took place at the training ground.

Newcastle United's English striker Callum Wilson applauds after winning at the end of the English Premier League football match between Newcastle United and Nottingham Forest at St James' Park in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, north east England on August 6, 2022. (Photo by NIGEL RODDIS/AFP via Getty Images)

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Now the players have returned for the new Premier League season, recent progress on improving the training ground has been limited.

"It's still a work in progress, still a bit of a building site at the moment but it's all for a good cause,” Wilson told The Gazette. “When we get to the point where it is ready then I'm sure that we'll reap the rewards as players.”

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The works at the training ground will continue to progress slowly over the coming months before ramping up again during the World Cup break in November and December. If all goes to plan, the upgrades could be effectively in place by the time the players return after Christmas.

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But on the pitch, things have certainly been going to plan for Wilson and Newcastle as they picked up right where they left off last season to secure a 2-0 opening weekend win over Nottingham Forest.

After Fabian Schar opened the scoring, Wilson netted his third successive opening day goal for the club.

"It was lovely, I was very aware of the fact, I've scored or got an assist on the opening day for the last five, six years so it's something I enjoy,” he added. “I get excited for every new season, you work hard during pre-season but the hard work comes into business time when the season starts and that transition is always nice especially when you're playing at home.

"I was disappointed only to get one to be honest."

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Describing his well-taken goal, Wilson added: “Joelinton was getting close to the byline so I knew he'd be looking to play it in first time so for me it was just about timing my run and trying to get as much contact on the ball as possible.

"I knew I was going to have to flick it because I'd gone past the near post but that was the only way I would have got to the ball.

"The first half, the defender kept clearing it when it went into that area so for me it was important to try and dislodge that in the second and it just seemed to bobble up for me at the right time.

"Once I hit it, I turn and can see it heading for the side of the net and I just wheel away and that's when the celebrations started.

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"But [the win] means nothing if we don't go and build on it at Brighton. It's only one game, we've got 37 to go and we've made a nice start but we need to make sure we're consistent with our performances and our results.”