Gary Bowyer had two seasons at the Blackpool manager before he resigned from the club last summer.
He took over The Tangerines on 1 June 2016, on a one-year rolling contract, following the club’s relegation to EFL League Two.
Bowyer guided Blackpool to an immediate promotion back to EFL League One in his very first season in charge.
Last season Blackpool had Newcastle’s Sean Longstaff in his side, and they finished 12th of 24 teams with 60 points in League One – 11 points short of a playoff position.
Sean Longstaff in action for Blackpool last season
Bowyer has been talking about how impressive Sean was at Blackpool.
This is what Gary Bowyer has said on the Newcastle website:
“He had a fabulous year for me, for the club and obviously for himself and Newcastle.
“He came in and scored some wonderful goals – you put some of them on Twitter! He’s got fantastic ability and he’s a fantastic lad as well.”
“He wants to get better and that was the big thing about him; he was always looking to improve, always in the office looking at his clips for ways he could get better.”
“Personally, as a coach and as a manager, I’m delighted to see the progress he’s made in pre-season.”
“I was fortunate enough to be in Nottingham two weeks ago and watched him make his debut there. “
“The last time I saw one of the players that I’d worked with make his debut was Phil Jones, at Forest ironically, so if he can go and do what Phil Jones has done then he’ll be alright!
“But on a serious note, he’s got a lot of talent and he’s got a good family behind him that really support him and push him.”
“And working with Rafa Benítez, he’s got a great opportunity to improve his game even further now.”
“Hopefully he breaks through and becomes a regular for Newcastle.”
Those are good encouraging words from Bowyer about Sean Longstaff.
Sean played 45 games for Blackpool with 9 goals and 6 assists last season
And with Sean so keen to improve and with an excellent attitude – he’s a lad who also keeps his feet firmly on the ground.
Sean has a fantastic opportunity to improve this season coached by Rafa Benitez, although the manager may allow him to go out on loan in January to get some first-team games under his belt.
When we’ve watched Sean, he’s looked a good player in the Newcastle first team.
We are hoping he can improve by leaps and bounds this season under the expert guidance of Rafa Benitez.