Mason Bennett is delighted to be reunited with the man who made him Derby County’s youngest ever player in 2011.
The Langwith footballer has joined former boss Nigel Clough at League One leaders Burton Albion.
Bennett will spend the rest of the season at the Pirelli Stadium.
And although he has some lofty goals for the second half of the 2015/16 campaign, the 19-year-old knows he will have to exercise patience – a virtue he’s become accustomed to.
This is the youngster’s third loan spell as a Derby player, and it came a little later than he would have liked.
“Even when I came back from the summer into pre-season I was looking to go out on loan, but we decided as a club it was probably better for me to get my form going in the Under 21s,” he said.
“The 21s is good, the lads are doing great, flying at the top of the league, but it’s a different ball game playing in front of a couple of hundred – I was really looking forward to playing in front of a few thousand.”
Burton weren’t the only team looking at Bennett as a loan option, but the identity of their manager certainly helped sway the player in favour of this move.
It’s a switch that could not only bring some competitive football, but some bonafide success.
“I had a few clubs who wanted me on loan, but knowing the manager and the staff, it was a no brainer.
“I knew it would be good for me.
“I’m hoping for experience, and hopefully we can keep in this form they’re in – I want to be part of a winning team and help them get promoted.”
Earning glory with Burton would serve another purpose for the forward, impressing his parent club.
But having made his Football League debut at the tender age of 15 years and 99 days, he’s had plenty of opportunity to learn that you have to bide your time.
“There is a lot of talent at Derby, we have a good squad, but hopefully I can go on loan and be successful and catch the eye.
“But you have to be patient at any club, really.
“You have to work hard.
“Beavon is firing for Burton at the minute, so I just have to wait for my chance to get a place in the team. It’s healthy competition.”
Stuart Beavon is the man Bennett replaced on Saturday, when he came on late in the second half to make his Burton debut in a win at Coventry.
The former England youth international enjoyed his first outing as a Brewer.
“The fans were right behind us, it was great to see so many at Coventry and they were the loudest in the stadium, so that was a nice feeling for me,” he said.
“It was hard, just running around, but I really enjoyed it.”
And he hopes to continue his education as a front man under the watchful eye of Clough, and alongside in-form striker Beavon.
“I’ve been around some great centre forwards at Derby and on loan, and now with the forwards Burton have got, so I try to adapt bits from their game to mine.
“That has helped me, and I feel like a grown man now.”