Is there a more perfect way to score your first goal for Newcastle? At the Gallowgate end when the chips are down? Well, thats just how local lad Paul Dummett did it, and if he continues his rapid rise in the game, he could score many more in Black and White. Coming on as a substitute is never easy, and when you're down to ten men it is even harder. Having to adapt to the pace of the game and get to know the players you're dealing with isn't easy from the start and when Dummett came on, he was like a fish to water. He was everywhere. Upfront, at the back, on the wings, chasing down every ball like a kid in a playground. And when he got his goal, he celebrated like every Newcastle fan would, to use the local dialect, he want radge! (Which if you don't know, means crazy!) But how did he come about? After two loan spells and a one-year contract, it looked as if he wouldn't quite make it, but this season, he has shown why he will make it.
Just last year Dummett was plying his trade at non-league Gateshead, and I was lucky enough to watch him a few times for them. And if I'm being honest, I didn't think he would make it at Newcastle, but he was part of a mean Gateshead defence that saw six clean sheets in ten. Gateshead fans like to know that they 'made' him, and they certainly did play a huge part in his development. But, he was always too good for that level of football. Next up was the SPL, with St Mirren. A higher level of football, for a more well-rounded player. This is where he made his real breakthrough. Again, throughout the whole season he was impressive and St Mirren would have loved to keep him. He helped them win their first major trophy in 26 years and took to like in Scotland well. Between this, however, he returned to Tyneside and was one of the youngsters who played in the loss to Brighton, although he was one of the better players. He was sent back to St Mirren until the end of the season.
Summer came, and he once again came back to Newcastle. He was one of the academy players offered one-year contracts, and he took it with both hands. He played most pre-season matches and impressed Pardew, and he put pressure on Davide Santon for the left back position. And, although he didn't start against Manchester City he came on and put in a real shift. Once again, after a red card. Once again, he impressed. On his top flight debut at the home of the champions-elect he could leave with his head held high. Up until the Liverpool game, he only got the occasional cup run-out, but he continued to impress his manager and fans alike. Then came Liverpool. After Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa received a red card, it was young Dummett who was called upon to keep the score down. Not even he would have been expecting a goal. But even aside from the goal, it was an excellent performance, and every Newcastle fan in the stadium could only praise him, for living his dream. Our dream. The players themselves knew how much the goal meant to him, and during the celebration each one congratulated him (bar one Hatem Ben-Arfa). In what was itself a great match, an even better story came out of it. A local boy done good.
There's no doubt in my mind that he'll continue to get better. He's already had a senior Wales call-up without making an appearance. Roy Hodgson, I'm looking at you! And it won't be long until he makes his debut. Also, with the Sunderland match looming, it's not out of the question he could be a hero in the Tyne-Wear derby too. There's nothing that would please Newcastle fans more than seeing a local lad churn out a good performance in the derby.
But for now, it's all about his performance against Liverpool. He has one week to remember it before he could go out and make more memories that will last forever. Paul Dummett can be an integral part to Newcastle's future, he'll need a new contract as his runs out in June, but when he gets that, he can be as good as he wants to be.