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Newcastle United have no goalkeepers – Four ruled out of action

10 months ago

Newcastle United now face a strange situation in their pre-season preparations, with no goalkeepers available.

All four who have played first team football are now guaranteed to miss the first three pre-season friendlies, maybe four of the six in total.

Martin Dubravka faces an operation to a foot injury and is set to miss the start of the season.

Then to make matters worse, Saturday has brought news from the club (see below) that another three goalkeepers are now ruled out.

Karl Darlow has tested positive for covid and must self-isolate for 10 days.

Whilst having been in close contact with Darlow, Mark Gillespie and Freddie Woodman must also do the same for 10 days.

Both Sunday friendlies against York and Harrogate will see junior goalkeepers having to fill in.

Whilst it will be the same on Friday at Doncaster.

The Rotherham away friendly on Tuesday 27 July is exactly ten days away, so that also has to be in severe doubt in terms of any senior goalkeepers able to take part.

Which then only leaves (see below) Burton away and Norwich at home for senior goalkeepers to be able to get some pitch time for sure, unless anything else changes.

Newcastle United pre-season friendlies:

Sunday 18 July – York City away (2pm)

Sunday 18 July Harrogate Town away(2pm)

Friday 23 July – Doncaster Rovers away (7pm)

Tuesday 27 July – Rotherham United away (7pm)

Friday 30 July – Burton Albion away (7.45pm)

Saturday 7 August – Norwich home (2pm)

Newcastle United Official Statement:

Newcastle United can confirm that goalkeeper Karl Darlow has received a positive Covid-19 test result during routine testing at the club’s pre-season training camp near York.

In line with coronavirus protocols, Darlow is required to self-isolate for ten days. All other players and staff within the first team group have returned further negative test results following additional testing.

Two players – goalkeepers Mark Gillespie and Freddie Woodman – have been identified as close contacts and are also required to self-isolate for ten days despite receiving negative test results.

As a result, Newcastle United will now send a first team squad to York City on Sunday, while an Under-23s squad will travel to Harrogate Town to minimise mixing between the groups.

Everyone at Newcastle United wishes Karl a speedy recovery.

Newcastle United head coach, Steve Bruce, said: “Unfortunately, Karl Darlow has tested positive for Covid-19 and it has affected the goalkeepers, with Mark Gillespie and Freddie Woodman coming into relatively close contact and needing to self-isolate.

“Thankfully, everyone else has been tested again and all those test results were negative.

“Because there has been a positive case, a first team group will travel to York on Sunday and the match at Harrogate will now be made up of under 23s players.

“I have spoken to Simon Weaver, who was very understanding, and I would like to apologise to any Harrogate supporters who have bought tickets thinking first team players were coming.

“Ultimately, we have to follow the advice from medical professionals and take proactive steps to protect players and we simply can’t mix up the dressing rooms, which was our initial plan.”

For the latest coronavirus guidance, please visit


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