Low-key Newcastle United signing handed surprise opportunity following injury blow

Newcastle United goalkeeper Jude Smith has been handed an opportunity to impress for the Under-21s side.

The 19-year-old arrived at Newcastle from Scottish League Two side East Fife over the summer.

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Smith joined up with United’s Under-21s side where he would face stiff goalkeeping competition in the form of Will Brown and Max Thompson.

St James's Park, Newcastle (Photo by LINDSEY PARNABY/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Smith is a product of Celtic’s academy but left the club last summer to become East Fife’s first-choice goalkeeper. At just 18, he amassed 28 appearances between the sticks for the Scottish side last season.

The teenager didn’t start the season in goal for Newcastle’s second string side with Thompson getting the nod instead with Brown on the bench. But an injury to Thompson has seen Smith ‘thrown into the deep end’.

After conceding four on his debut against Norwich City, Smith now has two clean sheets in his last two matches – a 4-0 win over Derby County in the Premier League 2 Division 2 and a goalless draw at Doncaster Rovers in the Papa John’s Trophy.

"I'm thoroughly enjoying my time at Newcastle,” Smith told the club website. “I knew there'd be an opportunity to play but I was thrown into the deep end, if you like, after Thommo picked up an injury. It's been good, healthy competition in fighting for that goalkeeping spot.

"That's what you need as a goalkeeper because if you don't have anyone pushing you or feeling you have a safe position in the team, you won't be applying yourself as much as you can."

The Young Magpies’ next match is at home to Nottingham Forest this Friday at Whitley Park (7pm kick-off).