THE EFL kicked off this weekend while Newcastle United played two friendly matches to finish off their pre-season.

Here is The Northern Echo's Team of the Week for the opening weekend of the campaign...

GK – Zack Steffen - A strong debut for the American who kept Boro in the game after West Brom's equaliser. After quickly being called into action early on in the game tipping a long cross onto the crossbar, he made a series of crucial saves from a series of counter attacks.

The Northern Echo: Zack Steffen tips his long across onto the bar.Zack Steffen tips his long across onto the bar.

RB – Kieran Trippier - The England full-back demonstrated his leadership qualities in the win over Atalanta talking his side through the game. Wore the captains armband on the evening and led by example.

CB – Anfernee Djiksteel - Playing on the right of a back three, Djiksteel did well take carry Boro up the pitch on the right hand side. With Boro caught by West Brom's counter attacks, the Dutchman was one of the few who ate up the yards to defend.

CB – Sven Botman - His quality on the ball has been obvious ever since he signed – continued to look composed, even when Bilbao were pressing late on. Could be a huge signing for Newcastle this season.

LB – Ryan Giles - A brilliant and wye catching performance and did exactly what he was brought in to the club to do. Played a key role in the goal and delivered some outstanding balls into the box.

CM – Elliot Anderson - Terrific performance from the midfielder. Energetic, creative and intelligent against Atalanta. He is giving Eddie Howe plenty to think about who has said he is ready to keep him for next season.

The Northern Echo: Elliot Anderson in action for Bristol Rovers during his loan spell last seasonElliot Anderson in action for Bristol Rovers during his loan spell last season

CM – Bruno Guimaraes - Had continued his form from the back end of last season into pre-season. Ran the Bilbao defence ragged in the first half in particular, passing and probing from the heart of the Newcastle midfield

CAM – Alex Pritchard - Showed his experinece at Championship level. Linked play effectively in his attacking-midfield role and helped take some of the sting out of the game in the second half.

RW – Isaiah Jones - Was a threat going forward for Boro as usual but he did his duties in defence when Boro really needed it and were getting stung back counter attacks. Found himself in the right place to take his goal. 

LW – Jack Clarke - The pick of Sunderland’s players in their draw against Coventry City. Took his goal well and was a constant threat down the left-hand side. A welcome return to the Stadium of Light.

The Northern Echo: Jack Clarke celebrates scoring his goal against Coventry CityJack Clarke celebrates scoring his goal against Coventry City

ST – Callum Wilson - He hasn't lost his touch in front of goal. Took his early opener superbly, proving his goalscoring instincts remain as well-honed as ever. Eddie Howe hoping he can remain fit this season.