Belfast Telegraph

Newcastle’s Longstaff brothers have come to terms with football’s roller coaster

The brothers lined up together for the first time against Manchester United.

Newcastle’s Matty (left) and Sean Longstaff have hit the headlines this season (Owen Humphreys/PA)
Newcastle’s Matty (left) and Sean Longstaff have hit the headlines this season (Owen Humphreys/PA)

By Damian Spellman, PA

Sean Longstaff has admitted he and younger brother Matty have already had to come to terms with football’s roller coaster just weeks after hitting the national headlines.

The pair became the latest brothers to play together for home-town club Newcastle when 19-year-old Matty marked a perfect Premier League debut for the club with the winning goal against Manchester United on October 6.

But just a few weeks on, neither the teenager nor 22-year-old Sean were in the team for the 3-2 win at West Ham or the 2-1 home victory over Bournemouth which followed it, and that has served as an important lesson for both.

Sean, who is currently serving a three-match ban after being sent off against Wolves last month, said: “Football changes so fast.

“One week, me and Matty were everywhere and everyone wanted to speak to us and the next week, you’re not involved and the team wins again and you’re forgotten about a bit.

“For us, it’s about learning that that does happen in football. We don’t really get too carried away with everything that does go on, it’s probably more the outside noise, and we know that.

“But we’re going to keep working hard and hopefully there’s a chance for both of us to get back into the team at some point.”

The Longstaff brothers, who lined up alongside each other in central midfield against United, Chelsea and Wolves, have kept their feet firmly on the ground throughout having had the benefit of their father David’s experience as a professional sportsman.

Longstaff senior was the first Great Britain ice hockey player to reach the 100-cap mark and endured the ups and downs of his own sport.

Sean said: “I think my Dad will have experienced that as well. When he went to Sweden, that was the first time he was probably in a really similar position to us in terms of there were also other world-class players on his team and obviously everything didn’t always go his way, and he has spoken to us about that.

“But it’s hard to be angry when the team is winning. In any successful team, you’re going to need everyone to play their part.

If someone told me you could come and play for free every week, you'd probably do that. Sean Longstaff

“As long as we’re winning, everyone is happy and it makes the whole place, the whole club, the fanbase, everything a little bit more upbeat, and I think that’s what we’ve needed recently.”

Head coach Steve Bruce is keen for both youngsters to be tied up in new contracts, although no agreement has been reached yet.

Sean said: “If someone told me you could come and play for free every week, you’d probably do that.

“At the end of the day, I’m just continuing to work hard and do my job every day and just waiting to see what happens next.”

PA

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