By Will Butcher
Newcastle have allowed emerging goalkeeper Paul Woolston to join non-league side 1883 Darlington on a work experience loan, it was revealed on Wednesday night.
The 18-year-old starlet has followed in the footsteps of his idol Kasper Schmeichel, who also had a loan spell with the Quakers.
The deal for the youngster was announced on Newcastle’s official website on Wednesday, just hours before Woolston made his debut for Darlington as they took on Bradford Park Avenue in the Vanarama National League North.
The goalkeeper replaced injury-prone number one Peter Jameson for the match, who is struggling with a thigh problem. Woolston impressed as his new side secured a valuable away win against their domestic rivals, winning 2-1.
Woolston is a Darlington fan, and was on the Quakers’ books as a schoolboy as an outfield player before he tried his hand between the sticks.
He was part of the Toon’s pre-season training camp in Ireland this summer and made national headlines in 2014 when he kept a clean sheet against Manchester United on his under-21s debut while only 15 years old.
Woolston’s chances of breaking into the Magpies’ first-team seem slim, with Karl Darlow, Freddie Woodman, Rob Elliot and number one Matz Sels are all ahead of him. Tim Krul is currently on loan with Dutch giants Ajax but has yet to recover from injury.
In other Newcastle news, this striker is expected to start as Rafa Benitez looks to make changes against Wolves on Saturday.