Harris stoked up for Potters clash

Harris stoked up for Potters clash
Harris stoked up for Potters clash

Ahead of Newcastle United Under-21s' penultimate Premier League 2 fixture of the 2023/24 season away at Stoke City on Friday, teenage goalkeeper Aidan Harris is determined for the young Magpies to conclude their league campaign in a positive manner.

United's second-string face their Potters counterparts at the bet365 Stadium (kick-off 7pm BST) before playing their final league encounter against Aston Villa on Monday, 29th April, which will be staged at St. James' Park.

Newcastle's youngsters were unable to secure a top 16 spot following last week's 2-0 defeat against Leeds United but Harris, who was named on the bench for the Magpies' UEFA Champions League Group F opener away at AC Milan in September, believes there is plenty for the young Magpies to still play for.

'We're very keen to end the season in a positive way,' the 17-year-old shot-stopper told 'We're hoping to get a strong result before we play Aston Villa at St. James' Park on Monday but there's a lot of excitement going into this one.

'We were very disappointed to miss out on the play-offs. We conceded late on because of a penalty which was quite controversial and then conceded later on which was tough to take.

'We're so eager to make that right and get a strong result out of Friday's game. There's still a lot to play for this season with the opportunity of winning a trophy in the Northumberland Senior Cup.'

Harris made his under-21s debut at the tender age of 16 in an EFL Trophy clash against Wrexham, playing in front of over 7,000 spectators at the Racecourse Ground, and the Houghton-le-Spring born 'keeper - who made his Premier League 2 debut against Leeds United last week - is targeting an outing at another EFL ground in the bet365 Stadium.

He added: 'I've had not had as much experience playing in stadiums as of yet so it'll be good for the upcoming years of my career. I've never played there before but I've watched some of Stoke's game on TV and I'm really looking forward to the opportunity.

'Playing at the stadiums, the noise really sticks out for me and I don't mind the stick you get from the home fans, especially when I played at Wrexham in front of lots of fans. I was able to block everything out and focus on the game, taking on that challenge and I was talking and doing everything I'm used to doing, playing as if nobody was there.'

The teenage goalkeeper sustained a hand injury in November, breaking his second metacarpal in his right hand during a training session which left him sidelined for two months but, despite the setback, Harris' spell on the sidelines has allowed himself to work strenuously on his physique.

'Throughout the nine weeks I was out, I was missing it everyday,' he explained. 'I was asking how long it would be until I was back out there so now I'm finally back, it feels like I'm reborn and it feels amazing.

'My main goal during the injury was trying to lose weight and gain muscle which I've ended up doing and continue to do.

'I've lost around nine kilograms now and I was working so hard to become the person I am now, riding bikes everyday and completing a lot of cardio work as I couldn't do much work with my hand.

'Every now and then, I'll do a long bike in the gym to keep me in that routine. I'm quite passionate about fitness and it's so easy as all you have to do is pedal and complete certain workouts.'