Back in July, defender Stuart Findlay decided to call time on his career with Celtic in order to seek opportunities south of the border with Newcastle.
After arriving on a free transfer, the centre-back was immediately put into the U23s squad where he has made 14 appearances this season but has impressed enough to make his full debut for the club in the FA Cup against Birmingham.
Capped 14 times by the Scotland U21 side, Findlay has revealed why he made the move to Newcastle:
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. 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.
When I signed this season, Peter Beardsley told me it was up to me to do it. Obviously, I did well and got my first-team debut. That was a massive bonus, and I tried to kick on with the Under-23s.
You wouldn’t be playing at Under-23 level if you didn’t want to play for the first team. “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 and helping your team-mates. If that’s the case, you never know.
Findlay will be hoping he can continue to make his mark with the U23s and earn more opportunities play for the first-team in the near future.