Freddie Woodman reveals his next steps at Newcastle after summer England triumph

Freddie Woodman
Freddie Woodman

Freddie Woodman knows where he wants to be this season – between the posts.

The Newcastle United goalkeeper is being assessed by Rafa Benitez in pre-season.

Woodman returned to Tyneside on a high after helping England win the Under-20 World Cup in this summer.

But the 20-year-old isn’t going to rest on his laurels.

Woodman – who signed a new long-term contract at Newcastle last year – is determined to push on in his career.

The Croydon-born player spent the second half of last season on loan at Scottish Premiership side Kilmarnock.

Freddie Woodman.

Freddie Woodman.

And Woodman – who is a loan target for a clutch of EFL clubs – will put his future into Benitez’s hands, though his preference is to be playing week in, week out.

Asked where he wanted to be this season, he said: “Whatever the club and the manager feels.

“I know what I want, but it’s up to him and what he thinks I need for my development.

“Wherever I am, I just want to be playing games.

This is the start. I know I’ve got to work hard in pre-season, and hopefully show a few people what I’m about.

Freddie Woodman addresses his future at Newcastle

“I’m at my happiest when I’m playing games, and I feel I need to keep playing games to improve and keep getting better.

“Hopefully, this season brings plenty of games and minutes on the pitch.”

Woodman enjoyed his time at Rugby Park, where he was joined by United team-mates Sean Longstaff and Callum Roberts.

And he is prepared to go out on loan again to gain more first-team experience.

Newcastle's goalkeepers

Newcastle's goalkeepers

“I went to Kilmarnock back end of last season and got 15 games,” said Woodman, who has featured in Newcastle’s first two pre-season friendlies.

“I really enjoyed it. I felt I played well and adapted to that league well.

“This season could bring something new. I’m ready for all possibilities.

“Hopefully, I’m still out on the pitch playing games.

“It’s good to be working again. I’ll keep working hard this pre-season.”

Woodman made a stunning penalty save in England’s 1-0 win over Venezuela in the Under-20 World Cup final in South Korea.

The experience will forever be etched into Woodman’s memory.

Woodman said: “I’m hugely patriotic, so winning the World Cup was massive for me and obviously Arma (Adam Armstrong).

“It was huge. The final was amazing. And to say I saved a penalty in the final of a World Cup is something dreams are made of.

“I’m really proud of that, but I know this season’s come round quick, and I want to get back out on the pitch doing my thing.

“I’m so hungry after getting that feeling back of winning a trophy.

“We won the Euros at Under-17 level. To win that at Under-20s makes you hungry to win trophies and pick up medals.

“It’s always nice when you get to go home with something.

“To play on the big scene with big crowds and atmospheres, that’s ultimately what I want to do.”

Woodman, however, is now focused on his club career.

“It was such a great achievement for me and for the team,” he said.

“But that’s gone now, and this season’s quickly come around.

“I’ve got my new goals and new stuff I want to achieve this season.

“This is the start. I know I’ve got to work hard in pre-season, and hopefully show a few people what I’m about.”

While he doesn’t yet know where he will be playing his football this season, Woodman is excited by the return of Premier League football to St James’s Park.

“It’s massive for the club,” said Woodman, who could again feature for Newcastle in tomorrow night’s friendly against Bradford City at Valley Parade.

“It was a Premier League club when I joined. I knew I was joining a Premier League set-up.

“It’s nice for all the players to be back in that environment playing against the best players in the World.

“It’s brilliant for the club and the players.”