Jak Alnwick reveals his one big Newcastle regret – 11 months after THAT debut against Chelsea

Jak Alnwick
Jak Alnwick

Jak Alnwick has revealed his one big regret from his time at Newcastle United.

The goalkeeper, now at Port Vale, played eight games for the club last season after injuries sidelined Tim Krul and Rob Elliot.

United, now in a similar predicament with Krul out for the season and Elliot struggling with a thigh injury, have put 18-year-old Freddie Woodman on standby for Saturday's game against Bournemouth at the Goldsands Stadium.

Alnwick made a string of saves after coming off the bench against Chelsea 11 months ago.

But the 22-year-old went on to have a tough month between the posts in front of a defence which was unable to give him adequate protection.

Alnwick felt he was ready for the Premier League at the time.

Freddie Woodman

Freddie Woodman

But the Hexham-born player – who was released by United in the summer – has conceded now that he would have been better prepared had he had been allowed out on loan to a Football League club.

Asked if the opportunity came too quickly, Alnwick told BBC Radio Newcastle: "Yeah, definitely.

"At the time I thought I was ready, but I don't know if you know any other goalkeepers who have played Premier League without playuing a single competitive game.

"That's one thing I was disappointed at. Maybe, at 18, I should have been out on loan. "But they couldn't let me go on loan.

"As you see with Adam Armstrong (on loan at Coventry City), it gives you confidence. I don't think the Under-21s does that. Playing games helps you on the way.

"Fraser Forster went out and played a lot of games and came back a better goalkeeper. He's just went from strength to strength."

Woodman is likely to play if Elliot fails to prove his fitness in time, and Alnwick feels the dozen loan games his former team-mate played for League Two club Crawley Town will have prepared him for his Premier League debut, should it come against Bournemouth.

"It was kind of half-ready, and you've always got to be prepared to come on," said Alwnick.

"I'm sure Fred will be the same, whether he starts the game or not.

"It was an experience (against Chelsea), and I loved every second of it.

"You do the the right things in training, which I know Fred will do. He's a top lad and a top professional.

"You know that you've got to be ready. You never know what will happen.

"Obviously, Fred's been out and played a few games at Crawley and done well. He's got a little bit of experience. That's something I was missing.

"No matter what the situation, you've got to be ready no matter what as a goalkeeper.

"Freddie's got his England experience. Even in the 10 games he's played (for Crawley), he'll have learnt a lot.

"It's a freak incident where they've just been left with an 18-year-old lad, but I'm sure he'll do very well.

"He's a brilliant goalkeeper for his age. Is he ready? I don't know.

"He's a confident lad, so I don't see why he's not ready. But the Premier League's a different step up altogether."