RR: From a Sunderland perspective, Nathan Newall is a player that interests me a lot - mainly as he’s a left back (and we don’t have too many of those), and he’s got first team experience at a decent level. I know he wasn’t a first-teamer for very long before leaving, but what can you tell us about Nathan and how he fared in senior football?
Adam Bridson: Nathan has been in and around the first team for the past couple of incomplete seasons, and had to wait for his opportunity to become a regular. He spent time out on loan at Frickley and Ossett United, where he impressed, so much so that he won a Player of the Month Award just before the 2019/20 season came to and end with Ossett. Nathan then came back ready to push and force his way into the side, and he did just that. Scoring his first senior goal in a draw at Boston was a real turning point for him, and he impressed after that and kept his place in the team, which was well deserved.
Nathan adjusted to first team football well - National League North is quite a step up from his other experiences of it, but you wouldn’t have noticed as he just took it in his stride.
RR: Were you surprised to see him get a big move at such a young age? Why do you think he caught Sunderland’s attention?
Adam Bridson: I wouldn’t say I was surprised, no. Nathan has done the hard yards with both our academy and first team, and his work rate and desire to progress was clear to see from all who know him and his family. I think Nathan has caught Sunderland’s attention not only because of his great attitude, but also his consistent play too - he has a good strike on him and is good going forward, as well as defending.
RR: Nathan has been around the first team in pre-season, and played in games against Spennymoor, York and Tranmere. Do you think he’s ready to make that step up into a League One side yet, or is it still a bit too soon, given he’s gone from a non-league set up to a category one academy side?
Adam Bridson: I wouldn’t put it past Nathan to do so - he is still young and training full time will benefit him massively. He will keep working hard and gaining new experiences.
This is a great opportunity for him and one he will grasp with both hands - he’ll work his hardest to impress with the U23’s, and then progress as far as he can.
RR: Do you wish you could have hung on to him a little longer?
Adam Bridson: Yes, absolutely - during the short season we had last time out Nathan was really starting to shine for us. He scored two goals and was getting his first regular run in the side. I would have liked to have seen him stay with us for longer, but this is a good opportunity for him - not only for him to progress into professional football, but also to move up the ladder and take the next steps in his career.
RR: What kind of left back is he?
Adam Bridson: Nathan is a quick, strong and committed player. He will attack and can put in a good cross, but he is also good at defending. He will offer the ability to play as not a left back but also a left winger too - he has operated at many different positions though. so this versatility can prove useful to a side. As mentioned above, Nathan can score goals and did start out as a striker, so this adds another edge to his game.
RR: What would you say that his main strengths are as a player?
Adam Bridson: I think Nathan’s ability to have an effect on games going forward is his biggest strength, because of his speed and talents with crossing a ball he can prove a real asset to a side. Nathan will keep going, and gives 100% every game he plays.
RR: He’s still very young, but what areas of his game do you think might need work at this stage?
Adam Bridson: He is very young but his different experiences in football have helped his game progress. I would say Nathan will learn a lot from being a professional footballer for the first time and this will help improve his game and his talents.
RR: Just how proud would the guys there at Guiseley be if Nathan could make a serious impression at Sunderland over the coming years?
Adam Bridson: Everyone at Guiseley AFC would be extremely proud of him - he’s been at the club for many years and watched many games as a supporter, and always has time for the fans. The staff in our Centre of Excellence, Academy and First Team would be delighted to see Nathan go on to have a great career in football after all his hard work and commitment shown to the club.
We have seen some good players come through the academy who have gone on to have EFL careers such as Jacob Brown, Ben Whitfield and Jake Young, and everyone would be delighted for Nathan and his family for him to be added to that list.