ADAM Armstrong is desperate run on to the pitch at St James’s Park again this season – after leaving the field “devastated” after Newcastle United’s FA Youth Cup defeat.
Dave Watson’s spirited Under-18s were beaten 3-2 by Chelsea on Tuesday night.
Newcastle had led the quarter-final 2-1 at the break thanks to a close-range strike from Armstrong and a controversial handled effort from midfielder Olivier Kemen.
But the visitors took control in the second half and booked a place in the last four of the prestigious competition.
Striker Armstrong - yesterday called up by England along with club-mate Freddie Woodman for the Elite Round qualifiers in the Czech Republic later this month - has been training with the first team in recent months.
And the 17-year-old - who has been promised his senior debut before the end of the season by United manager Alan Pardew if he maintains his progress - says it would be a “dream” to play at St James’s Park in a Premier League fixture.
“It’s always special to play at St James’s Park as a local lad,” Armstrong said.
“It’s my home stadium, and when you go out on the pitch and see so many seats, it’s unbelievable.
“The lads were buzzing to play there, but it was just unfortunate we didn’t get a result. To play here is a dream.”
Armstrong - who could again be in Pardew’s matchday squad for Saturday’s game against Fulham at Craven Cottage - has vowed to keep his feet firmly on the ground as he persues his dream of representing United in the Premier League.
“Hopefully, I can keep pushing on,” he added. “I’ve got to keep my head down and keep pushing on.”
Newcastle’s Under-18s, playing in front of a crowd of more than 2,500, fought back strongly after going behind to a goal from Armstrong’s England Under-17 team-mate Dominic Solanke.
And coach Watson told of his “pride” at his team’s performance after the game.
For his part, Armstrong - who has been on the bench a number of times for first-team fixtures - felt there were a lot of positives to take from the match, despite the result.
“We took control of the game first-half,” he said. “The lads wanted to win it, and we knew we had to do the same (in the second half). The lads are devastated.
“It’s always nice to score, but it’s not the same when it doesn’t count.
“I thought the lads did excellently. It was just unfortunate we didn’t get the win.
“There were loads of positives from the game. I think we can take a lot out of it. There were a lot of good individual performances. As a team we did well, but they went on to win it.”
Meanwhile, Armstrong and goalkeeper Woodman will look to secure England’s place in the summer’s European Under-17 Championships in Malta when they play Czech Republic, Albania and Italy.
Armstrong said on Twitter: “Happy to have been picked for England to go the the Euros at the end of the month in Czech Republic!”