By Matt Farr
Newcastle youngster Daniel Barlaser has aired his delight at making his first team debut for the club this season.
The exciting 20-year-old academy product was handed his senior debut during the 3-1 FA Cup win over Birmingham in January, but has admitted he is hungry for more opportunities.
Barlaser has frequently trained with the first team squad this season, after impressing Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez with his displays for the Under 23 squad, for whom he has made 18 appearances.
But the midfielder is determined not to rest on his laurels and fight for a regular place in Benitez’s first team squad, whilst delivering a glowing verdict on the Newcastle chief.
He told the Chronicle: “It’s massive, I’ve already had a taste, and hopefully I can get more. If somebody had offered me two appearances for the first team this season I would have snapped their fingers off.
“Now I just keep myself fit and play for the Under-23s and wait for my chance. I train with the first team a couple of times a week so I’m in and out. I just have to be patient. Then when I get my chance I take it.
“To learn from a manager of his calibre [Benitez] is amazing. He is the man who gave me a chance. That is massive for my career, as is any training session.”
Barlaser was presented with an opportunity to follow up his first team bow with another appearance in the FA Cup, playing the full 90 minutes during the shock 3-0 defeat to Oxford in the next round of the competition.
He was also named in the matchday squad to face Rotherham in the Championship on January 21, but remained an unused substitute in the 4-0 win.
But opportunities could be hard to come by in the coming weeks as Newcastle welcome a number of their injured stars back into the fold.
Barlaser is though, open to a loan move next season in a bid to earn more regular first team opportunities.
In other Newcastle news, Mo Diame has issued a battle cry ahead of the crunch tie with Leeds this weekend.