On-loan forward Shaquille McDonald is hoping for more FA Trophy heroics this Saturday, as FC Halifax Town host Barrow.
McDonald recently extended his loan deal until the end of the month, and is hoping to make a real first team claim should he be selected this weekend. Speaking to the official website, he said: “I don’t know what the manager is thinking for the team this week, I’m hoping to be involved. But if I do get the call, I will grab it with both hands and put myself in his plans.
There is bound to be competition for places, but you’re not going to change a winning team. It’s good to be around the camp.”
The superb run of form since his arrival from Derby County has seen first team opportunities at a premium for McDonald, though he has starred in the FA Trophy. Having made his debut in the 5-0 hammering of Tamworth, McDonald found the net that night and wants to repeat the feat on Saturday.
“I was very shocked and happy when I did score against Tamworth. When I put the ball in the net in the first couple of minutes, I ran off celebrating but it got disallowed. But then I got the second chance and put it away. It was good for me and for my family, and a big stepping stone for me personally. Every time I get on the pitch I want to score goals.”
Signed in the first few weeks after Harvey took temporary charge, the former Peterborough and York youngster came into a side stuck at the foot of the National League table. He admits that when first making the move to The Shay, he wasn’t expecting such a turnaround.
“I’m very surprised considering the position the team was in when I joined. When the loan move came about, I thought the football might not be too good considering the position. But since I got here, my mind has completely changed. The way the team moves the ball about, the lads are all very positive and give positive criticism. The way they are playing is unbelievable.”
McDonald has only made one start since moving on loan from Championship high flyers Derby, but despite the lack of game time, he is ready to pull on the blue shirt whenever the call does come.
“I know that I’m not getting as much game time as I want, but I can’t fault that. I’m training with Derby as well, but I want to keep training and keeping fit so that I can make a big impact in this side. And hopefully when I do get a chance, I can keep going on and on from then.”
The loan deal was recently extended until the end of January, and despite the lack of first team action, the 20-year-old would be happy to stay for longer.
“I would like to stay at the club for a bit longer if the chance came about. The form that we’re on is a big reason, but I like the manager as well. All the lads are very nice to me; I’d never met any of them before. It is an opportunity for me to get more game time and more first team experience. It is completely different to Under 21 football.
When Town win, at the end of the game the whole changing room mood completely lifts and it means a lot to everybody. Hopefully if I do get the chance, it can be extended again.”