The footsteps Freddie Woodman will be following in as he gears up for Newcastle United start
Freddie Woodman is set to make his Premier League debut on Sunday after injury woes have ruled out Martin Dubravka and Karl Darlow for the entirety of pre-season.
Woodman, who has been at the club as a professional since 2014, has only featured in cup competitions for Newcastle but will likely get the chance to stake his claim to be No1 this season.
Premier League debuts are never easy, but can Woodman draw strength from the debuts of his five predecessors as Newcastle’s man between the sticks? We take a look back through the history books.
Martin Dúbravka v Manchester United (h) 11/02/2018
If you’re going to do a list, you may as well start on a high. Every Newcastle fan should remember the Slovakian’s debut for Newcastle.
Newcastle came into the clash against Manchester United with real relegation-fears hanging over them and a new, unknown and unproven goalkeeper in goal.
90 minutes later, their relegation fears had subsided and supporters had a new star to rejoice.
Dúbravka put in a wonderful display, commanding his area superbly and making some crucial saves to keep a clean-sheet in what proved to be the turning point of the 2017-18 season.
Karl Darlow v West Bromwich Albion (a) 28/12/2015
This game was one to forget for Darlow who was drafted into the team at late-notice on a cold and wet winter’s day at The Hawthorns.
After Rob Elliott had taken ill during the warm-up, Darlow was thrown into the team to face a very physical side managed by Tony Pulis - a side which then bombarded the Newcastle man with challenging set-piece deliveries.
Although clearly looking nervy, Darlow coped with the majority of The Baggies’ attacks until a weak Darren Fletcher header sneaked under him and into the back of the net.
Darlow became Newcastle’s No1 following relegation that season, but won’t look back too fondly on his Premier League debut.
Jak Alnwick v Chelsea (06/12/14)
Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea came to St James’s Park unbeaten in the league and Newcastle’s task to end that unbeaten run looked ominous, especially when ‘keeper Rob Elliott was substituted with an injury at half-time.
Up-stepped Jak Alnwick for his first senior appearance at Newcastle, fresh from a loan-spell at Gateshead the season prior.
A Papiss Cisse brace looked to have secured United an unlikely victory, but a red card for Steven Taylor, and a Chelsea goal from the resulting free-kick, brought Chelsea roaring back into the game.
Fortunately, Newcastle were able to repel their efforts with Alnwick making a string of saves to keep out Dider Drogba, Eden Hazard and Diego Costa et al.
This was easily Alnwick’s most impressive game during his short-spell as Newcastle’s stand-in number one.
Rob Elliott v Southampton (h) (24/02/13)
Elliott suffered a nightmare start to his Premier League career at St James’s Park, conceding to Morgan Schneiderlin just three minutes into his debut.
However, this would turn out to be a memorable game for Elliott as he claimed an assist for Papiss Cisse’s wonderful 30-yard volley which put Newcastle in the lead just before half-time.
Newcastle would run-out comfortable 4-2 winners in the end and the day would be remembered for that Cisse strike.
Tim Krul v Everton (a) (18/09/10)
Another ‘keeper that made his Premier League debut off-the-bench for Newcastle was Tim Krul.
Despite his debut for the club coming four years previous away at Palermo, it wasn’t until 2010 against Everton where Krul would make his mark on the Premier League - although on this day, it was another United player that would grab the headlines.
Yes, this was the day of that Hatem Ben Arfa goal, the day a new French magician was founded.
Krul, however, managed to keep a clean sheet this game and soon nailed down his position as Newcastle’s No1.
A message from the Football Clubs Editor
Our aim is to provide you with the best, most up-to-date and most informative Newcastle United coverage 365 days a year.
This depth of coverage costs, so to help us maintain the high-quality reporting that you are used to, please consider taking out a subscription; sign up here.
Your support is much appreciated. Richard Mennear, Football Clubs Editor