LUBOMIR Satka’s playing with a maturity which belies his tender age – and that bodes well for Newcastle United over the coming years.
The 18-year-old has been likened to a young Fabricio Coloccini by manager Alan Pardew.
Satka signed a long-term contract at St James’s Park late last season.
And Pardew is hopeful that Satka, on the bench for the club’s final Premier League game of last season at Liverpool, will be challenging for first-team football over the next couple of years.
Satka was a regular for United’s Under-21 side last term.
What struck Pardew most about the technically-gifted centre-half’s performances was his calmness – with and without the ball.
Pardew feels Satka, signed from Newcastle’s one-time Intertoto Cup opponents Dubnica two years ago, has benefited from training alongside club captain Coloccini.
“Lubo is, for me, a player beyond his years – he’s very calm,” said Pardew.
“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.”
Pardew could involve Satka in the club’s first-team pre-season programme, which kicks off with a fixture against Oldham Athletic at Boundary Park on July 15.
Satka signed a professional contract in March when striker Adam Armstrong and goalkeeper Freddie Woodman, both 17, also committed their long-term futures to the club.
Pardew said: “This is only a first step on the career ladder for these boys.
“They must continue to show the same commitment and desire and will to learn as they have to this point.”
Satka scored in United’s final Under-21 game last season and in the club’s Northumberland Senior Cup final win over Blyth Spartans at St James’s Park.
And the Slovakia Under-21 international is keen to make an impression at both ends of the field next term.
“I’ve talked about it with the coaches and worked on it in training,” said Satka, who wears the No37 jersey.
“I’ve worked on my finishing and heading. Thankfully, it’s worked.”
Peter Beardsley’s Under-21 side start their pre-season with a fixture against Gateshead at the International Stadium on July 18 (7.30pm kick-off).