Despite triple whammy, game is still boys' Owen stuff for Geordie Bailey

Publication Date10 Jul 2021
Bailey was one of the thousands in attendance at St James' Park when his fellow academy star rifled in the winner in front of the Gallowgate.

It was a meteoric first-team rise for the younger Longstaff brother and it was a breakthrough many believed Bailey was capable of making following his senior debut in the pre-season defeat to Wolves just three months' prior.

However, the under-23s' captain was just weeks into what would turn out to be a nightmare 538-day spell on the sidelines and his release this summer unfortunately came as little surprise.

Despite the circumstances of the 'freak' triple setback which led to his Magpies exit, the 22-year-old insists he bears no grudges against his boyhood club.

Bailey said: "I remember when I was told, my initial reaction was to burst out crying.

"Everything you have worked towards feels like it has come to nothing.

"However,I have no regrets, I had a great time at the club.

"I met some amazing people, the coaches and players were unbelievable.

"I look back on my time with great pride, I captained the club for a long time and did everything I thought was the right thing at the right times.

"I am leaving Newcastle happy and reflecting on the good times."

Bailey's first-team opportunity in the summer of 2019 came after an impressive season where he captained the under -23s to two finals as well as retaining their Hong Kong Citi

Soccer Sevens title. The young prospect was included in United's squad for the pre-season tour to China and was introduced as a 60th-minute substitute in the defeat to Wolves.

Bailey had been called up to first-team training over the course of the season and felt ready to seize his moment at the Nanjing Olympic Sports Centre.

He added: "Thinking back, that was probably my best season.

"To win the championship in Hong Kong again for a second year in a row and lift the trophy in United colours was great.

"It topped off the season really well.

"It was a friendly in China but that was my pinnacle really, a buzz just to think I am going to go on and play.

"I came on and played alongside Matty, which was a good moment for us both to be living our dream.

"I had trained with them before, it was still a bit daunting but it was not the biggest shock. I almost felt ready, I felt confident I could do myself justice."

Weeks later, Bailey picked up an innocuous knee injury in a friendly against Rotherham United which he was able to shrug off.

A leap for a header against Norwich City soon afterwards led to...

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