Young Newcastle defender Stuart Findlay (pictured above on the right) says it was an easy decision to leave Celtic and Scottish football behind.
Moving to St James Park as a 20 year old in the summer, the centre-back says it was a ‘no-brainer’ once he heard Newcastle were interested.
A mainstay of the Under 23 set-up this season, Stuart Findlay got his first chance at first team level when Rafa Benitez gave him a start in the 3-1 FA Cup win at St James Park.
Saying ”Nobody I now would have knocked back’ Newcastle United and Rafa Benitez, Findlay is waiting patiently for his next chance.
Rafa Benitez has been determined to improve all levels of the club in his 13 months so far and as well as 12 senior signings last summer, he has recruited extensively below that level.
With very poor recent seasons below first team level, the United boss has tried to raise the quality at both Academy and Under 23 level, with the likes of El-Mhanni and Findlay arriving to go in at Under 23 level, whilst any number of overseas players have been added to the pool of players for both age groups.
With the mess he inherited, it is going to take Rafa a long long time to pull the club up from the malaise of years and years of Ashley neglect and appointments such as Pardew & McClaren compounding the problem.
Stuart Findlay talking to the Shields Gazette:
“My time at Celtic was going a bit stale.
“I wasn’t really getting anywhere and I was coming to a crossroads about what was going to be best for my career. It was obviously time to move on.
“As soon as I heard a team like Newcastle was interested, it was an absolute no-brainer.
“You’re going to jump at the chance to play at such an illustrious club with as great history and under such an impressive manager.
“Nobody I know would’ve knocked that back and I’m glad that I came.
“For a man like Rafa to even select you for a match fills you with a lot of confidence that you didn’t have before – but you can’t dwell on that performance or one good day. It’s about moving on and getting there regularly, not as a one-off.
“That was a massive bonus. And I tried to kick on with the Under-23. It’s just a case of getting stuck in at the age group you’re asked to play at and trying to catch your own coach’s (eye) and helping your team-mates. If that’s the case, you never know.”