Magpies dream comes true for striker Sam

Sam Ryder at Warkworth Castle.
Sam Ryder at Warkworth Castle.

And self-confessed Toon fan Sam Ryder has said that being snapped up by the club she supports puts extra shine on the deal.

But in a heartwarming admission, the 28-year-old Alnwick lass said that signing the United deal is ‘extra special’ as it is the club that her beloved father Colin supported before he lost his battle with cancer in 2009.

“He would have been proud and he would be there to watch me if he was still around,” said Sam, of King Street.

“He was a Newcastle fan and he met a few of the players as well.”

Sam signed a contract at the club on Tuesday night.

Speaking about her United move, the attacking-minded player, who is also part of the football set-up at Longhoughton Rangers Ladies, said: “This has all come about very recently. I started training with Newcastle at the end of July.

“I asked Jimmy Somerville, my coach at Longhoughton, for a challenge and he arranged for me to train with Newcastle in the pre-season and they have offered me a contract.

“It is amazing. My intention was to train with them but I have signed for them.

“I never dreamt it would happen. I am speechless.”

United are involved in a number of leagues and competitions this season including the Northern Women’s Combination Football League, FA Women’s Premier League Reserve Division (Mids/North Div 2), and the Northumbria FA County Cup.

Sam, who has been playing a striker’s role at United, said: “I am starting out at the moment in the Reserves and my aim is to get games for the first team.

“But my main aim is just to enjoy it, because it is not going to last forever.”

And while Sam has been added to the Newcastle ranks, she says that she still hopes to be able to play for Longhoughton, where she plays as an attacking midfielder, when she is not on United duty.

Playing sport at a competitive level is nothing new for Sam.

The talented sportswoman played hockey for more than a decade for Alnwick, as well as representing the county in the sport.

But she was hit with a knee injury and took some time away from the game and took up football as ‘another activity to do’.

Her rise in the sport is also a massive achievement for Longhoughton.

The ladies side formed just a year ago, spending last season playing friendlies and tournaments, but are now embarking on their first campaign in the Northumberland County Women’s Football League, which starts in September.

Coach Jimmy said: “It is the aim of the club to try to identify players and progress them on to the highest level possible for themselves. We are over the moon that one of our ladies has been selected for Newcastle.”

Now that Sam has signed for Newcastle, she is looking for people to sponsor her.

Anyone interested should call her on 07871 888065.