Jamie Sterry’s hoping he’s played his way into Rafa Benitez’s plans at Newcastle United.
The defender, loaned to Crewe Alexandra last season, played in two of the club’s five pre-season friendlies.
And Sterry’s waiting to discover whether he’ll stay at St James’s Park – or be loaned out again – this season.
“I just need to work hard and see if I get a chance to play,” said Sterry. “I feel like I’ve done well in pre-season. I need to work as hard as possible and see what happens.
“I’ll speak to him towards the end. I feel like I’ve done well and trained really well. I train at 100 per cent.”
Sterry played in the friendlies against Porto and Hull City and also went to Ireland with the first-team squad.
“It’s been good,” said Sterry. “I’m learning a lot playing games. I feel like it’s helped, training has helped me. I feel much fitter.
“Half an hour against Porto was an amazing experience.
“Even when we came an hour and a half before, the stadium was nearly full. It makes you realise what it would be like playing there in the Champions League and how good the atmosphere can be.
“We showed a good defensive display, but we had a couple of chances and could have nicked it in the end.”
Sterry made nine League Two appearances for Crewe last season.
“Crewe is a really good club and I feel like I helped them there,” said the Newcastle-born player.
“I did really well. I had a couple of injuries, but it’s helped me massively. Experience is huge for any football. Hopefully, I’ll kick on this season.
“When you play Under-23s, it’s not as competitive. It means as much to the lads, but when you’re playing in the league, it means everything to people. It’s a complete difference.”
Sterry is one of a number of young players who could leave the club on loan, including Freddie Woodman and Rolando Aarons.