'I want to thank everyone who has helped me along the way'

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Matthew Raisbeck, BBC Radio Newcastle

Over the weekend, I managed to get some time with Newcastle United forward Ben Parkinson after he made his debut as a substitute in the second half of the defeat at Bournemouth.

Parkinson, who is 18, comes from Durham and is a Magpies fan who has been in the academy for the past 10 years.

He'd made some pre-season appearances but spoke to me about his league bow.

"It's something you dream of as a kid, especially growing up as a Newcastle fan," he said.

"I want to thank everyone who has helped me along the way, and especially the gaffer for putting his trust in me.

"I just had to enjoy it, work as hard as I can and try to prove to myself and everyone that hopefully I can get another opportunity.

"When I came on, Tripps [Kieran Trippier] put his arm around me and just told me to play with a smile on my face and to enjoy it.

"They [the senior players] are amazing with me day to day when I come up from the academy to train.

"When I've been away [with the first-team squad] for the past three games, they've put their arm around me, making sure I'm OK, I fit in with the group and I'm comfortable."

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