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‘WHY I QUIT SCOTLAND,’ EX-CELT

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FORMER Celtic starlet Stuart Findlay has revealed it was a “no-brainer” to snub Scotland and join Newcastle.

The central defender moved to the Championship outfit in the summer after being released by the Hoops.

Scottish Under-21 star Findlay, who never featured in the Parkhead top side, knocked back offers to remain at home after loan spells at Kilmarnock, Dumbarton and Morton.

He admitted: “My time at Celtic was going a bit stale.

“I wasn’t really getting anywhere and I was coming to a crossroads about what was going to be best for my career. It was obviously time to move on.

“As soon as I heard a team like Newcastle was interested, it was an absolute no-brainer.

“You’re going to jump at the chance to play at such an illustrious club with its great history and under such an impressive manager in Rafa Benitez.

“Nobody I know would’ve knocked that offer back. Naturally, I’m glad I came.”

Benitez handed Findlay a surprise start in the club’s 3-1 win in the FA Cup third round replay against Birmingham at St James’s Park in January.

And the Glasgow-born 21-year-old impressed in defence alongside Scotland international Grant Hanley.

However, he is determined to make sure that appearance is the first of many.

Findlay said: “For a man such as Rafa to even select you for a match fills you with a lot of confidence that you didn’t have before.

“But you can’t dwell on that performance or one good day. It’s about moving on and getting there regularly, not as a one-off.” 

Findlay, who has been a regular for Peter Beardsley’s Under-23 side this season, said: “When I signed, Peter told me it was up to me to do it.

“Obviously, I did well and got my first team debut. That was a massive bonus. And I’ve tried to kick on with the Under-23s.

“It’s just a case of getting stuck in at the age group you’re asked to play at and trying to catch your own coach’s eye while helping your team-mates. If that’s the case, you never know.”

Findlay is settled off the pitch on Tyneside and added: “It’s my first time living away from home.

“I’ve taken it in my stride. It feels like home now.”

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