LUBOMIR Satka says he’s learning from the best – Newcastle United captain Fabricio Coloccini.
The teenage defender has been likened to a “young Coloccini” by manager Alan Pardew.
And Satka - who hopes to be involved in this afternoon’s Schalke 04 Cup game against Malaga in Gelsenkirchen (2.30pm kick-off BST) - is flattered by the comparison.
“It’s good when the manager talks about you like that,” Satka said.
“I’m looking up to Colo, because he’s a great player and the captain. Hopefully, I can learn from him.”
Speaking earlier this summer, Pardew said: “Lubo is, for me, a player beyond his years – he’s very calm.
“If you were going to look at a young Coloccini, you’ve got to say that’s Lubo.
“He’s so level-headed and technically good. He’s got a great chance for us. We’ve really got our fingers crossed for him.”
The Slovakian, capped by his country at Under-21 level this summer, has played in every pre-season game so far.
And Satka hopes to stay involved with the first team.
“Last season was good for me, and this year I have started with the first team,” said the 18-year-old, signed from Dubnica two years ago.
“I’ve got to train harder, and hopefully stay involved. We’ll see how it goes.
“I’m enjoying being with the first team every day and travelling with them.
“I’m getting game time as well, so it’s good so far.”
Versatile Satka - who can play at centre-half or right-back - started Wednesday night’s 1-0 win over Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough.
The friendly came just over 48 hours after Pardew and his players arrived back from a pre-season tour of New Zealand.
Satka admits the jet-lagged team struggled with fatigue in South Yorkshire, where a second-half goal from summer signing Ayoze Perez was the difference between the two teams.
“We were tired after travelling,” said Satka. “It was two days after we arrived, so it was really tough for us.
“They were ahead of us as well as their season starts earlier, but we stuck together and put a performance in.
“It was a great win in the end.”
Satka’s defensive colleague Remie Streete, from South Shields, has also travelled to Germany for the tournament, which also involves West Ham United.
Streete didn’t travel to New Zealand, and the highly-rated 19-year-old is keen to make up for lost time.
The centre-half’s progress at United over the past two years has been impeded by a series of injuries.