CLARETS forward Alex MacDonald admits it’s a make or break year for him after penning a new 12-month contract with the club.
The 22-year-old agreed his fourth professional deal with Burnley, after ending last season on loan at Plymouth Argyle.
The Scotland Under 21 international scored four times in 18 appearances to help the Pilgrims retain their place in the Football League.
He also made seven appearances for the Clarets last season, taking his number of senior games for Burnley to 15 since starting out in the club’s youth system.
And while MacDonald, who recenntly became a father for the first time, is eager to gain more experience out on loan in League 1 early in the campaign, he is determined to make the grade at Turf Moor.
He said: “It’s something I wanted, I didn’t want to move away.
“I finally signed, and it’s a season I’m looking forward to - a make or break season for myself.
“I’ve been at the club a long time and never really made myself a first team regular.
“If I don’t do that this time, maybe it will be time to move on and look at things.
“But I’m not looking at that, only at breaking into the first team and staying there.
“It’s up to myself, I believe in my own ability, that I’m good enough.”
MacDonald’s efforts with Plymouth alerted a number of clubs to his talents, but his ambition is to push on with Burnley“I knew I had an offer here, I spoke to the manager quite a few times over the season and he promised me something for this year, but I had a few clubs interested in me, and I had a few offers.
“But I think I’ve come to the right decision for me and my family.”
He feels like he returns to Burnley a better player following his experiences in the South West: “Definitely, any younger pro not seeing much action at their parent club should look to go out on loan, it’s proven that you come back a better player.
“Jay went to Stirling and Barnsley, even Kyle Lafferty at Darlington a few years ago.
“It brings you on as a player.
“I went down to Plymouth, played 18 games, and I feel that’s the case with me.
“It was a new experience, fighting relegation at the very bottom of league football, which wasn’t a pretty sight, but I was part of helping them get out of that mess.
“I went down there. away from my pregnant girlfriend, and it wasn’t easy going down there, it wasn’t as if I could jump in the car and it’s a couple of hours away.
“But I got through it and I’m happy with how it went down there.”
Meanwhile, the club officially confirmed on Tuesday that forward Zavon Hines has been released after 12 months at Turf Moor.
Burnley did not take up the second year option on Hines’ original contract, and have allowed the former West Ham winger to leave as a free agent.
The 23-year-old made just two starts for the Clarets, both in the League Cup, and 14 appearances from the bench.
He then finished last season on loan at AFC Bournemouth, scoring one goal.
Hines said: “Things didn’t work out for me at Burnley and I don’t know why really.
“It was unfortunate, but I guess that is football and you have to put it behind you and move on - to show those people what they are missing.”