Ntumba Massanka leaves Wrexham AFC a better player

Reporter:

Rich Williams

NTUMBA MASSANKA believes he is heading back to Burnley a better player after completing his stay at Wrexham.

The striker’s loan spell with the Reds came to an end following Monday’s 3-3 home draw against Barrow.

Having also spent the second half of last season at The Racecourse, Massanka has been with Wrexham for almost 12 months and he is waiting to see what the future holds for him at Burnley 

“Burnley asked for me to go back, I will go back and see what they say,” said Massanka.

“I am still only young, it is about progressing and trying to make the next step wherever it is, whether it is Burnley’s first team or someone else’s first team.”

When asked whether he leaves Wrexham a better player, the 21-year-old said: “Definitely. I feel like I have improved a lot, I have improved my game, now it is about integrating back at Burnley or wherever I am going to be.”

Massanka scored four goals in 18 league games last season, including a spectacular bicycle kick in February’s 3-1 victory over Guiseley, helping Wrexham climb away from the drop zone and eventually a 13th placed finish.

Wrexham have emerged as promotion contenders this season but goals have been harder to come by for Massanka, who has been in and out of the team, and found the back of the net just twice, both goals coming in the 2-0 win against Bromley on September 2.

Massanka has enjoyed his time with Wrexham under Dean Keates.

“It has been a pleasure, I have been at Wrexham almost a year and it feels like a second home now,” said Massanka.

“The fans have been great to me and the manager has always been great to me since the minute I walked in.

“The bunch of lads that I was with last season were great with me and especially this season, the bunch has been brilliant.

“The bond and the work ethic that the lads have, I am sure that they will go far.

“It has been the best experience of my career so far being in a group so hungry to win.

“It has been good and hopefully I take it on everywhere else I go in my career.”

Despite not being a regular on the scoresheet, Massanka insists he has given his all for Wrexham every single day.

“I have always said even if I am not scoring, I will always work my hardest and put a shift in for the team,” said Massanka.

“Everyone that comes to watch deserves a shift from anyone that puts on the shirt.

“It has always been a pleasure for me every time I have been able to step out on that pitch and wear the shirt.

“I just want to thank everyone that has given me the opportunity and welcomed me.”

Wrexham were heading for victory in Massanka’s final game before Barrow equalised in the fifth minute of injury time to snatch a point.

“It was a bitter blow to take,” said Massanka, an unused substitute. “I thought we had won it and sometimes that happens in football.

“It happened for us away at Dagenham when we got a goal in the last minute and fair play to Barrow, they dug deep.

“It was just a bit unlucky for us.”

Wrexham took a deserved lead through top scorer Chris Holroyd’s eighth strike of the campaign but Barrow turned things around to go 2-1 up before James Jennings levelled on the stroke of half time.

Scott Boden put Wrexham ahead in the 76th minute and the Reds were heading for a New Year’s Day victory until Barrow’s last gasp equaliser.

“I think the boys played really well,” said Massanka, who saw Wrexham’s winless run extended to four league games.

“It is just unlucky sometimes what happens in football but I am sure the lads will sort it out on Saturday and get going again.”

Email:

rich.williams@nwn.co.uk

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