YORK IS THE BEST PLACE FOR ME, SAYS MASSANKA
WHILE his boyhood teammates are cutting their teeth in the top flight, Burnley hotshot Ntumba Massanka is adamant he could not be in a better position to kick on than at lowly York City.
The 19-year-old moved to Bootham Crescent on loan this week until the end of the season in a bid to lift them off the foot of the Football League – and with 16 goals in as many appearances this term for Burnley’s development side he could be just the man to do it.
Tottenham-born Massanka spent six years on the books at Manchester United, as well as enjoying a brief spell at Manchester City, before being snapped up by Burnley seven years ago.
But after being handed his first crack at senior football by Minstermen boss Jackie McNamara, the free-scoring starlet is determined to grab the bull by the horns.
“I’m really excited,” he said.“I think to get into the first team at Burnley, I need first team experience elsewhere.
“I felt like I was definitely ready for this step and with the position that York are in now, it will be a really good experience for me.
“They were my first choice because of the manager. He has a track record of bringing younger players through so I really fancied coming to York, and he has already told me he wants me to be working hard and scoring goals to prove my worth.
“All I want to be doing is playing men’s football, and it’s all well and good scoring goals in the U21s but at the end of the day I want to make it at the top level.
“I’m very confident.This has been the best season I’ve had and I’m sure I can take my chance on the pitch when it comes up.”
Born opposite White Hart Lane in North London, Mas- sanka moved north to Morecambe at the age of four.
And after being picked up by Manchester United in a Saturday morning tournament just two years later, Massanka began to realise his dream of professional football was very much alive.
He said:“Football has always been in me, and I was at United for six years in total. It is the biggest club in the world and honestly it was all just a dream for me.
“Me and Cameron Borthwick-Jackson are really good mates and I was playing at United since the age of six with him, then James Wilson and Tyler Blackett were also there and Jesse Lingard was there as well but a few years older.
“It’s a place where core values and the basics are really key, and it’s a brilliant base for any young player as I’ll never forget what I learned there.
“You had to respect everyone; whether it was Sir Alex Ferguson or one of the cleaners, everyone was respected the same way.”
At the start of this season, with the likes of Andre Gray, Jelle Vossen, and Rouwen Hennings arriving at Turf Moor there were nine strikers in the Burnley first team, while Massanka was recovering from injury.
But five months on and the starlet is confident his opportunity is now just around the corner.
“I was on the edge thinking I wasn’t going to get a chance,” he added.“But I got over it and got on with what I do – and I’ve got a lot more clinical in front of goal since then.
“Obviously I am out at York on loan, but I’ve always got to be looking at my own club as well and if I do well here, who knows, the gaffer could be calling me back so I have to be ready at all times.”