The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Dan Barnes

ON-LOAN de­fender Niall Ma­son has thanked Dar­ren Fer­gu­son for the in­valu­able ex­pe­ri­ence in his first sea­son in se­nior foot­ball with Don­caster Rovers.

The 20-year-old is spend­ing the cur­rent cam­paign on loan from As­ton Villa and had made 39 ap­pear­ances for Fer­gu­son’s pro­mo­tion-win­ners be­fore the week­end.

Ma­son has come a long way since his days with the Real Madrid acad­emy. He was signed by the Span­ish giants, aged seven, and played along­side Zine­dine Zi­dane’s sons, Enzo and Luca. He has rel­ished ev­ery mo­ment since mak­ing his se­nior bow at Ac­cring­ton in Au­gust.

“It’s been bril­liant for me per­son­ally. I’ve learnt a lot this year and had a good sea­son, which is my first in pro­fes­sional foot­ball,” said Ma­son.

“The man­ager has been fan­tas­tic with me. I’ve got a lot to thank him for as he’s given me a chance to play and he’s great to learn from.

“When a man­ager puts faith in you, it’s im­por­tant to re­pay that. I’ve given 100 per cent this sea­son to en­sure I don’t let any­body down.”

With pro­mo­tion se­cured two weeks ago ater a 1-0 vic­tory over Mans­field Town, Fer­gu­son’s men are cur­rently bat­tling it out with Ply­mouth and Portsmouth for the League Two ti­tle.

An im­me­di­ate re­turn to League One was the pri­mary goal for Rovers this term, but Ma­son also wants to see his team beat their ri­vals to top spot.

“Some­thing we’ve been good at all sea­son is just fo­cus­ing on the next game,” said the young de­fender. “When you start look­ing too far in ad­vance that’s when things can start to go wrong.

“It’s been a re­ally good sea­son. We’re happy with pro­mo­tion, but we’re all still striv­ing to fin­ish the job off in style and win the league ti­tle.”

OP­POR­TU­NITY: Niall Ma­son

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