Matty Longstaff reveals his pride after making history at Newcastle United
Matty Longstaff told of his pride after making history at Newcastle United – with his brother Sean.
The siblings both came off the bench in Saturday’s 1-0 win Premier League Asia Trophy win over West Ham United in Shanghai, China.
It was their first appearance together in a first-team game.
“You dream of it,” said the 19-year-old midfielder. “We played in the Checkatrade together, and if someone had said we’d play this pre-season for the first team, I wouldn’t have believed them. It was a proud moment for the family back home watching.”
Longstaff – whose elder brother broke into the first-team squad last season – had got a visa for China earlier this year, but he didn’t know if he would make the squad for the tournament.
However, Ben Dawson and Neil Redfearn called up a number of players from the club’s Under-23 squad on the eve of the tournament.
“To be fair, we went and got visas, but that doesn’t really mean anything,” said Longstaff, who turned professional last year.
“We weren’t sure. We were away on the Spain trip last week with the Under-23s working hard with them. Liam Bramley (assistant Under-23 coach at United) pulled us to one side and said you’re going across to China with the first team.
“All the lads were absolutely delighted. We can only thank Neil and Ben, who selected us to go. They’ve given us a chance.”
Longstaff says watching his brother, both on loan and at Newcastle, helped prepare him for his first-team opportunity.
“To be honest, even watching him at Kilmarnock and Blackpool on his loan moves, I was always watching him there,” said Longstaff. “Last season he broke through at Newcastle. As a family, we couldn’t be prouder, but as a player, I think he showed how good he is.”
The win over West Ham, which was watched by new head coach Steve Bruce, followed a 4-0 defeat to Wolverhampton Wanderers in Najning.
“I thought we dominated all of it,” said Longstaff. “I thought we were much quicker out of the blocks, and I think that’s how the team can play.”