Like many managers, Rafa Benitez has sent out a cluster of players to clubs where they will learn more about the game and polish of their skills as they get first squad playing time. Prodigal striker Adam Armstrong, who has already been sent out to multiple clubs lower down, is getting game time in the same league with Barnsley.
However, Benitez sent out a trio of players to play further North, in the Scottish Premier League. Among those names, promising keeper and England youth international Freddie Woodman is earning his stripes at Kilmarnock. In an interview on the club's website, Woodman revealed what he is learning during his loan spell.
Woodman is enjoying a new challenge
Originally when joining the club he was viewed as a second choice keeper but after impressing, the youngster has enjoyed a run of first team games - five to be exact.
Speaking about the experience the keeper has had already, Woodman blunt said "I’ve enjoyed it."
“I’ve played five games now and it’s going pretty well but I’m learning.It’s given me massive experience," he continued.
Not to forget the purpose of the loan, Woodman asserts that the spell has been giving him exactly what he needs in these early stages of his career: “I came here looking to get games and experience under my belt, and I’ve done that already."
Woodman also offered an insight to his own process while out on loan: “From every game I’ve played in I’ve looked at the positive things I’ve done, and also the negative things I’ve done.
He added, "I need to just continue improving and learning."
Aside from the actual playing element of the loan, Woodman is developing other areas of his game as he explained, "I’m enjoying every moment walking out in front of big crowds and hostile atmospheres, and it’s good for the future.”
This is an element of any players game, especially when the time comes to playing against the Magpies' North East rivals Sunderland.
At only age 19, moving to a new city is certainly no easy feat but luckily the England U-21 keeper has three Toon team mates with him. Cal Roberts and Sean Longstaff are also playing at the team, speaking on this Woodman said: “Definitely it’s helped me settle in being with Cal and Sean,”
“Coming up here, it’s a different environment with different people, so having them has been great" the 19 year old added.
There has been team bonding as the three players have adjusted to their short term life in Scotland, the keeper explains this: “We’ve been out to Glasgow, we’ve seen the city, and I’ve played with these lads for a long time and they’re close friends.”