Mason Greenwood: The first interview
Mason Greenwood has revealed his inspiration, the challenges of moving up to the Manchester United first team and his aims after signing a new contract with the club.
The 18-year-old's first interview with us, at the Aon Training Complex, was held to mark the signing of the deal on Friday, and comes on the back of his first competitive senior goals, against Astana and Rochdale last month.
The England Under-21 international also confirmed his left foot is his favoured one and explained why he takes penalties with his right foot...
“I’ve been here since the Under-7s and worked through the ranks from Under-14s, Under-15s, Under-16s and Under-23s and, finally, the first team. I’ve signed a professional contract and it means the world to me. I’ve been here so long and it's what I worked up to and worked hard for.”
Ole has said it’s a real show of faith in you and your potential – is it your aim to repay that faith?
“Yeah, I’m going to show everyone what I can do in the times I come on, or if I play games, and in training, I’ll try my best and give it all for the team.”
A lot of people have helped you reach this stage, but your family in particular...
“Yeah, my family is always helping me – if I’m low or if I’m down, they are always there to pick me back up. They are a real inspiration and I look up to them and I play for them.”
“When I was younger, in the Under-8s, Under-9s and Under-10s, he would take us on tours and he always used to help me and tell me what to do in the games. He used to challenge me.”
Ever since you were a young footballer at junior level, you’ve been playing up in age groups so has that helped prepare you in a way for getting into the first team now?
“Obviously, I was playing against bigger and older lads when I was younger, and it was always a challenge, and just a case of getting used to it really. It helps now I’m in the first team so it is a bit similar really. I’m playing up there with the first team, so yes.”
Did the other first-team players help you settle in?
“Yeah. They’re all nice lads and they all really help you when you go up for the first time. Obviously, they know how it feels. It helps that they have been there and they helped me a lot.”
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“It was amazing. Winning the game, from being down in the result, but it was me representing the whole Academy. Coming onto the pitch, I was representing the whole Academy, from all the youth levels, so it was a great feeling.”
What a great buzz it must have been at the end – you’ll be looking for more of those…
“Yeah, many more to come!”
How did it feel to score you first senior competitive goals against Astana and Rochdale?
“Amazing. Just hearing the crowd, just cheering and shouting and screaming my name.”
Was it something extra special, coming at Old Trafford?
“Yeah, twice in front of the Stretford End too, so it was incredible.”
Growing up supporting United, would that have been your dream to score at the Stretford End?
“I’ve always wanted it. Ever since I was in the youth team, and I’ve seen Marcus [Rashford] do it. Obviously, I always wanted to do it and I can finally say I have scored a goal for Manchester United, which is amazing.”
“Yeah I have been to Wembley, I think it was Chelsea against United in a cup game [the Community Shield]. I remember going there with my uncle and my dad and it was great seeing the crowd and seeing United win. I’ve finally played a game and scored for United myself, which is amazing.”
In terms of your own work, it is a step up into the first team? Ole mentioned things like concentration so do things like tactics get imposed on you more?
“You’ve got to listen to everything – all the feedback from the coaches, the gym staff, the nutritionists. You’ve got to take it on board and listen.”
We know you prefer your left foot to your right, don’t you?
“Yeah, I prefer my left foot, just about, to my right foot.”
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So what’s with taking the penalties with your right foot? Is it just about what you feel comfortable with in that moment?
“Actually, it happened when I was in the Under-13s. I missed with my left foot against [Manchester] City when I was struggling in a game and, ever since, I’ve just gone with the right foot. Ever since then, really.”
What are your long-term aims over this period of time, Mason, now you’ve got this contract?
“To show everyone what I can do really and why I signed a contract. Why I’m here. I just want to show everyone.”
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