Exclusive: Greenwood's first major interview
Here, Mason speaks for the first time about his journey so far, first-team breakthrough and hopes for the future...
Congratulations, Mason, what does it mean to sign to you to sign your new contract? “It means a lot. I love United, I love playing for United and to sign a professional contract means the world to me and I am so happy to be here. 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 what I worked up to and worked hard.” Ole 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 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.” And, at United, Eamon Mulvey was a great support in those early days… “When I was younger, in the Under-8s, Under-9s and Under-10s, he would take us on tour 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 really help you when you go up for the first time. Obviously, it helps that they have been there and they helped me a lot.” 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. It was amazing.” Was it something extra special coming at Old Trafford? “Yeah, twice in front of the Stretford End too, so it was amazing.” Growing up supporting United, would that have been your dream, scoring at the Stretford End? “I’ve always wanted it. Ever since I was in the youth team, and I’ve seen Marcus 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.” Do you have any memories of supporting United as a youngster – you went to Wembley to watch us… “Yeah I have been to Wembley, I think it was Chelsea against United in a cup game [we think this would have to be a Community Shield game - either in 2007 when we won on pens or 2010]. I remember going there with my uncle and my dad and it was amazing 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 just about prefer your left foot to your right, don’t you? “I prefer my left foot, just about to my right foot.” So what’s with 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 City when I was struggling in a game and, ever since, I’ve just gone with the right foot. Ever since then really.” Free-kicks? You take them with both feet? “Yep.” Is that dependent on where the ball is then and the angle of the shot? “Yes.” 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.”