Georginio Wijnaldum says it was his grandma that put him on the path that would eventually lead him to St James Park.
The Dutch midfielder says that he wanted to be an acrobat when he was a kid, until his grannie put the block on that because it was too dangerous, with the new signing saying that he then found football as a replacement with kids in the neighbourhood where he grew up in.
Now though Wijnaldum only has thoughts of playing for his new team and it was great to see the reaction on his face when he was shown inside St James Park.
He played in front of 47,000 at Feyenoord and then 35,000 at PSV, now though he can’t wait to play in front of fifty thousand Geordies.
Let’s hope the atmosphere he will experience is more of the final game of last season when victory over West Ham ensured survival, rather than the terrible atmospheres that matched the quality of football for most of the last campaign.
Any Newcastle fans who were at THAT Champions League match will testify to just how good the atmosphere was at Feyenoord back in 2002 and so let’s hope the Dutch attacking midfielder isn’t let down by the reality at St James Park.
Obviously the argument has always been whether it is the fans who should have to get the players going or vice-versa.
The truth of course being that it is a team effort and fingers crossed players such as Wijnaldum and other new signings will give everybody a much needed lift and help provide a fresh starting point for both players and fans.
Georginio Wijnaldum interviewed on NUFC TV:
“I know Newcastle has a great stadium and great fans, fifty two thousand people in the stadium. I know the trainer (Steve McClaren) because he was at (FC) Twente when I was at Feyenoord.
“He turned Twente into Champions for the first time and he led them to play good football when he was there. When he was at Feyenoord he tried to get me to Twente, so it’s funny that it has happened now.”
Feel the crowd, feel the atmosphere:
“Last season wasn’t a good one but usually they (Newcastle) rank higher.
“I want to play there as soon as possible because I want to feel the atmosphere, feel the crowd and see up close what it is like to play there.
Catching up with the squad:
“Because everything happens so fast I must go back to Holland and get a lot of things ready to come to England.
“So I will join the team in the USA a bit later and I think it will help me to know the players a little better and the trainers.”
Interviewer – ‘You wanted to be an acrobat when you were younger?’
“Yes it’s true. My grandma said it was really dangerous to do things like that, so it is better to look for something else. So in my neighbourhood the kids of my age played football and that is how it started.
Newcastle’s 23 man squad flew out to America yesterday, whilst Georginio Wijnaldum had to fly back to Holland to sort stuff, before joining his new teammates in the coming days. To see the full squad who travelled go HERE.