Life on loan: Spark talks to Newcastle United left-back Matty Bondswell

Written by on 30th October 2023

Life as a professional footballer can have many twists and turns, with loan moves often part of a young player’s development.

Spark Sunderland exclusively caught up with Newcastle United left back, Matty Bondswell, to talk about his current loan to League Two side Newport County.

It may have taken him more than 300 miles from the Toon – but exciting prospect Matty Bondswell believes his switch from Newcastle to Wales is what he needs at this stage of his career.

Matty, 21, signed for the Magpies in 2021 from Bundesliga side RB Leipzig. The youngster was a product of Nottingham Forest’s Academy and has represented England at various age groups.

Loan moves are seen as essential to the development of many young players. Leaving their parent club allows more chances of first team football, while leaving their comfort zone means players are forced to mature off the pitch.

Playing for different clubs also exposes young players to diverse coaching philosophies, playing styles, and team dynamics, so it is important for the loan move to be a great fit for both player and club.

20th September 2022, Matty Bondswell (50) of Newcastle United U21s – during the game Barnsley v Newcastle United U21, EFL Trophy – Credit: Alamy

With that in mind, we asked Bondswell why a season-long loan Newport was the best fit for him,

He told Spark: “Newport was the best option for me because I think it was what I needed at this stage in my career.

“To be in a first team environment with the opportunity to play games and get as many minutes as possible was the most important thing for me.”

But has it been easy to settle in? “The lads are really good to be around off the pitch and made it really easy to settle in.

“After a week, I felt like I had been there for ages. All of the lads who came in during the summer are grateful for that too because it makes it easier for us to express ourselves on the pitch and be comfortable in what we’re doing.”

Prior to arriving at Newcastle, Matty spent time on loan in the Eerste Divisie, the second tier of Dutch football. He played six games for FC Dordrecht before returning to parent club RB Leipzig. Matty has also spent time at Shrewsbury during the 2022/23 season.

Matty’s best moments in a Newcastle shirt came during the 2022 preseason. Matty was a second half substitute in a 3-2 defeat to Portuguese side Benfica. Despite the loss, his performance drew praise from captain on the night, Kieran Trippier, describing the way Bondswell carried himself that night as ‘outstanding”.

Matty has wasted no time establishing himself at Newport County, having played 17 games in all competitions so far this season.

When asked if there was a game he enjoyed the most, Bondswell said it was a 3-1 home victory against Charlton Athletic.

“If I had to choose one, it would be our game against Charlton. It was the first game I had played at Rodney Parade – the fans were really up for it and I felt like I made a really big impact when I came on.”

Bondswell also recalled starting against Premier League Brentford in the Carabao Cup, where County lost on penalties after a goalless stalemate in normal time.

He said: “The fans were amazing. To have that experience against a Premier League team was special. It was my first start for Newport, which is what I’d been wanting from day one.”

Despite losing on penalties, those minutes against Premier League opposition will be vital experience Bondswell can take back to St James’ Park in the summer.

29th Aug, 2023. EFL Carabao Cup Football, Newport County versus Brentford; Newport County defender Matty Bondswell (33) in action during the pre-match warm-up. Credit: Alamy

Since his arrival at Newcastle, Bondswell has felt right at home. Now living in Wales, we asked Matty what he missed most about the Toon.

“There are loads of things that I miss about Newcastle but the one that sticks out to me is the people. When I first moved there I didn’t really know what to expect or how I would fit in but from my first day everyone was so welcoming.

“The passion the fans have is evident throughout the city. It makes it so easy to enjoy your time there knowing that you’ve got so many people that want you to do well.”

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