There is no doubting the ambition of Freddie Woodman.
The Newcastle keeper turned 21 on Sunday and already has won the Under 20s World Cup with England, graduated to the England Under 21 squad, and is currently on his fourth loan spell out of Newcastle United.
Progressing from Hartlepool to Crawley Town and then to Kilmarnock, Freddie Woodman is now turning out for Aberdeen until the end of the season.
Aberdeen are third in the Scottish Premier League and are six points behind second placed Rangers but with a game in hand.
It is a decent standard to be playing at for a young keeper and in five matches so far in goal, Woodman has seen two wins, two defeats and a draw.
Next up is a league game against Partick Thistle at the weekend and then a midweek Cup quarter-final replay against Kilmarnock.
The last league appearance having been a 2-0 home defeat to league leaders Celtic in front of over 17,000 fans, despite result, the Newcastle keeper received a lot of praise for his performance.
Woodman’s message for any other ambitious young players at Newcastle is that they have to get out of St James Park, if they are to progress.
Rather than playing in front of a handful of spectators against other young players, the keeper says that if you are to improve, you need to be playing first team football out on loan. Without that experience it is all but impossible to improve.
Freddie Woodman says his short-term plan is to do well at Aberdeen and then go back to Newcastle in May and ‘I’ll see what’s in store for me there.’
It will be an interesting one for Rafa Benitez to deliberate on and another loan spell looks on the cards, though with Woodman’s ambitions it won’t be long before he is expecting more at Newcastle.
It would be a brave man who would confidently predict what the goalkeeping position will be when next season kicks off, with Rafa having to make decisions on what he wants to do with five keepers – Dubravka, Woodman, Sels, Darlow and Elliot, with even the possibility of another new keeper being brought in this summer.
Freddie Woodman talking to the Evening Express:
“I have been trying to push to play for quite a long time and I’m quite an impatient person.
“I want to play football matches because that’s when I’m at my happiest.
“Hopefully if I can do well here and go back to Newcastle, I’ll see what’s in store for me there.
“I’m always pushing myself and always pushing the management team to start and play games because that’s when I’m happy.
“It’s massive (regular first team football). I have said to a lot of young players about getting regular game time.
“I have been on a few loans now and you need to get out, you need to learn.
“You need to go and play in these atmospheres, you need to experience making mistakes and playing well and playing week-in, week-out.
“It is all part of the learning curve and that’s the good thing about football – you can keep learning until you’re out of the game. It’s brilliant.
“It’s a massive difference (to playing for the reserves).
“First and foremost you have got fans willing you to win. Fans travelling to away games wanting you to win, it’s a lot of pressure and a lot more quality and experience.
“There are a lot of experienced players who are going to try tricks and things, so it’s all learning and brilliant for someone like me.
“When a football club with the stature of Aberdeen come in for you, it’s massive. I was delighted that they wanted to take me and I wanted to sign straight away.
“I wasn’t surprised because I already knew it was a fantastic squad here and I knew how good the team was before I joined.
“A team sitting where we are isn’t a bad team so I knew they would be good. They’re a really great group of lads and have made me feel welcome.”