The dust is just about settling on the Tyne and the loyal Geordie Nation are coming to terms with the fact they will be back in the Premier League, as Champions. It was an incredibly hard fought season with Newcastle United having to battle Brighton & Hove Albion to the very last day for the Championship crown.
But instead of feelings of nerves for the top flight, Ciaran Clark insists that there are very exciting times ahead for the club.
Ready for the challenge
There is no denying that the step up to the Premier League is a big one. Take for example Middlesbrough and Hull City both falling victim to relegation in their first season back.
However, centre-back Clark is adamant that his team will have taken the necessary preparations to compete at the highest level, “We will be ready,” Clark continued, "We will prepare well and be ready for the challenge."
The season officially kicks off on August 12, which will be when the test really comes but the Irishman feels as though his first season with the club has already taught him so much.
“I feel like I am learning all the time. To move to such a big club and being able to work with the players and staff that we have here has been great," Clark explains.
On that positive tone, Clark proceeded to talk about what lies next for him and Newcastle, “there are exciting times ahead" the defender states.
Looking forward again, Clark elaborated on what exactly the exciting times will involve,"Everyone is obviously looking forward to the next season, playing against some of the best players and best stadiums in the world.”
To most supporter's surprise, Clark was one of the Toon's most consistent and best players throughout the season in the Championship. His defensive ability earned him a spot in the hearts of the Geordies, but it wasn't a one sided affair.
“For me personally I have really enjoyed this season,” Clark said.
Clark is refreshingly honest as he explains that,“It’s easy to say that after we are up," and then continues by saying "but it has been fantastic for me."
While the defender's individual performance was a highlight of the season, Clark remains very team focused throughout as he states “Promotion was our aim from the start of the season,"
“We all worked so hard, throughout the whole of the season to achieve it - the staff, the players,” he concludes.