By Harvey Byrne
Jamie Sterry is pushing for first team involvement in the Championship, after a solid pre-season with Newcastle.
The Toon youngster made the team ahead of Jesus Gamez and Daryl Janmaat in the 4-0 pre-season win against Sporting Lokeren on Saturday, and the 21-year-old is looking to fight for a place in the Magpies senior squad next season.
Sterry has been used in all three pre-season games so far by manager Rafa Benitez, and he has looked impressive after making his debut Premier League appearance last season against Tottenham.
The Toon have scored 12 goals so far this summer, conceding just two and they will face League One side Southend on Tuesday evening.
“I have been training really well and showed him that I am good enough,” said Sterry to the Chronicle.
“Thankfully he realised that I can play, it was a great feeling to know I could be part of it.
“It’s always in your head about making your debut for the first team and thankfully I got that against Tottenham on the last day of last season, now I am looking forward to the new season.”
Benitez is keen to give the club’s youth a chance on the big stage, but one of the first things the Spaniard did was to send the Under-21 squad back to the club’s Academy, where they will report for work each day on a permanent basis.
The ex-Real Madrid boss felt that too many young players in the first team building were harming the focus of the first team players.
However, Sterry was one of a handful of youngsters that has remained at the senior end of the training ground.
Current Newcastle right-back Daryl Janmaat’s future is still unclear following the club’s relegation to the Championship and Benitez could see Sterry as the perfect man to step in for the Dutch international.
In other Newcastle team news, Marseille are still interested in Florian Thauvin.