Football first for frontman

Worksop Town FC v Kendal Town FC.  Massiah McDonald (w120107-1m)
Worksop Town FC v Kendal Town FC. Massiah McDonald (w120107-1m)

MASSIAH McDonald is all about playing football.

The 21-year-old wants to put suspension, injury and off-field negotiations behind him after a frustrating spell at Worksop Town.

Worksop Town FC v Mickleover Sports.  Massiah McDonald  (w111130-13e)

Worksop Town FC v Mickleover Sports. Massiah McDonald (w111130-13e)

Frontman McDonald lost his place in the side in December, when he was suspended for the visit of Conference Premier side Tamworth in the FA Trophy.

Tigers won that game, and then beat high flying Hednesford with the same formation and system while McDonald sat on the bench.

He made an appearance, from the bench, against Frickley Athletic on Boxing Day but damaged his ankle.

And to compound matters, before returning to full fitness the former Carlton man was the subject of transfer interest from a number of Evo-Stik Premier clubs, while Tigers attempted to agree a permanent deal with him.

But now, McDonald’s signature is on a contract, he’ll be a Worksop player until the end of next season at least and he’s fully fit and raring to go.

“I’m happy to have signed, I wanted to stay at Worksop all along, it was just a case of agreeing terms,” he said.

“I was happy playing without a contract, I know I’m good enough to get a place in the team anyway, but now all that’s out of the way I can concentrate on football.”

“It all came at a bad time, the suspension for the Tamworth game – we beat them, and the league leaders and you can’t change the team when that happens. I came back against Frickley and got injured.”

“But I’m fit again and I just want to play every week.”

Signed by former Worksop boss Martin McIntosh, McDonald has enjoyed his time at Sandy Lane – particularly playing alongside Jamie Jackson.

“I love playing with Jamie,” he said.

“At Carlton I was the dangerman, and everyone concentrated on me. But at Worksop we’ve got Jamie, myself, Ash (Burbeary) and it takes the pressure off.”

“Everyone knows Jamie and how quick he is, he’s lightning, and teams don’t realise we have other attacking players who can do damage.”

“I think we have an understanding on how each other plays.”

And he’s struck up a rapport with those on the other side of the perimeter fence at Sandy Lane, too.

Speaking of his admiration for Worksop Town’s fanbase, and those who follow the club home and away, he told the Guardian: “I love the fans. I’ve never been at a club where so many fans come to every game.”

“They’re there in rain, wind, snow and they travel. I love it, I love the chanting and the atmosphere they create at home and away matches.”

If supporters wondered how McDonald was finding life at the club, they need look no further than his Twitter account.

A source of some consternation for the club’s management during his contract negotiations, McDonald’s social networking account often makes for interesting reading.

The controversy over his online antics were overblown according to the player, but he did admit it was time to tone it down.

In his defence, he said: “I’m young, and I like to say it how it is. I don’t hold back on how I feel.”

“It’s just my opinion and getting other people’s opinions. I’m not going to stop Tweeting, people want to know what’s going on. But I am going to play it down a bit and concentrate on my football.”

In last week’s Guardian first team boss Simon Clark sang the praises of his newly contracted striker, and McDonald was quick to return the favour for a boss he holds in high esteem.

“He’s fair, you can have a laugh with him but he takes his job very seriously,” said McDonald.

“You can’t fault him, especially after the run we went on when he came in.”

And wherever Clark choses to employ the Nottingham-based dangerman, McDonald has vowed to put his all in.

“I love playing up front and I love playing on the wing, running at people and beating them.”

“I don’t care who scores, as long as we win. And I want to help Worksop win every game.”