Defender reveals why he left Celtic and joined Newcastle

Stuart Findlay
Stuart Findlay

Stuart Findlay has revealed the story behind his move to Newcastle United.

The defender joined the club last summer after being released by Celtic.

Findlay – who made his senior debut in a FA Cup replay against Birmingham City – had offers to stay in Scotland after a loan spells at Kilmarnock, Dumbarton and Morton.

But once he heard Newcastle were interested in signing him, his heart was set on a move south of the border to St James’s Park.

The 21-year-old said: “My time at Celtic was going a bit stale.

“I wasn’t really getting anywhere and I was coming to a crossroads about what was going to be best for my career. It was obviously time to move on.

“As soon as I heard a team like Newcastle was interested, it was an absolute no-brainer. You’re going to jump at the chance to play at such an illustrious club with as great history and under such an impressive manager.

“Nobody I know would’ve knocked that back. I’m glad that I came.”

United manager Rafa Benitez handed Findlay a surprise start in the club’s third-round FA Cup replay against Birmingham at St James’s Park in January.

And the Scotland Under-21 international impressed in defence alongside Scottish countryman Grant Hanley.

Findlay, however, doesn’t want that appearance to be a one-off.

“For a man like Rafa to even select you for a match fills you with a lot of confidence that you didn’t have before,” said Findlay.

“But you can’t dwell on that performance or one good day. It’s about moving on and getting there regularly, not as a one-off.”

Findlay has been a regular for Peter Beardsley’s Under-23 side this season, and he was in the team that beat Fulham 3-1 in a Premier League 2 at Whitley Park on Monday.

The result saw Newcastle all but book a place in the end-of-season promotion play-offs.

“When I signed this season, Peter Beardsley told me it was up to me to do it,” said Findlay.

“Obviously, I did well and got my first-team debut. That was a massive bonus. And I tried to kick on with the Under-23s.

“You wouldn’t be playing at Under-23 level if you didn’t want to play for the first team.

“It’s just a case of getting stuck in at the age group you’re asked to play at and trying to catch your own coach’s and helping your team-mates. If that’s the case, you never know.”

Glasgow-born Findlay is settled off the pitch on Tyneside.

“It’s my first time living away from home,” he said. “I’ve taken it in my stride. It feels like home now.”