YORK IS THE BEST PLACE FOR ME, SAYS MAS­SANKA

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Jack Miller

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.”

DE­TER­MINED: Mas­sanka

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