21-year-old South Shields born Callum Roberts says he has benefitted from training with the first team this preseason.
Callum was promoted to Rafa Benitez’s first-team squad along with Jamie Sterry, Josef Yarney, Sean Longstaff, Adam Armstrong and Victor Fernandez in the preseason and it will be a growing experience for all six youngsters.
Callum has been surprised at just how hard the Newcastle players train, and he already thinks he’s become a better player because of this preseason.
He cites Matt Ritchie as one example – a player who works his socks off both in training and during games – and we are pleased he was not sold this summer.
21-year-old Callum Roberts – in action at Hull in preseason
This is what the 21-year-old forward has said as reported in the Shields Gazette today:
“Looking at player like Matt Ritchie, you don’t really see how hard he works on a day-to-day basis.” “But when you train with him, you see it every day.”
“It’s a massive step up in level from the Under-18s and the U23s.
“It makes you realize you need to up your game a lot more, whether that’s in the gym or on the pitch because they’re non-stop.”
“Everybody knows you need to work hard, but to make the step up you’ve got to work even harder. “
“It’s good for me, Sean (Longstaff), Victor (Fernandez), Jamie (Sterry) and Adam (Armstrong) to be around the first team and strive to get into it.”
“We’ll see what happens in the next few weeks, but the main target now is to play games at a high level,”
“That’s what I need to do, because the last couple of seasons haven’t really gone as well as I wanted them to.”
“But this year I think I can do well. “We’ll see what the manager says and see what happens.”
Roberts has played twice for the England U20 side and has had short loan spells at Gateshead and Kilmarnock.
He could perhaps be part of the first team squad this season.
Otherwise, he could go out on loan to get first-team experience elsewhere.