'Fresh Prince' Mace Goodridge looking for more opportunities with the Clarets

Now that his initiation ceremony is done and dusted, 'Fresh Prince' Mace Goodridge is hoping that more opportunities open up for him at Burnley.
Burnley midfielder Mace GoodridgeBurnley midfielder Mace Goodridge
Burnley midfielder Mace Goodridge

The 20-year-old, who moved to Turf Moor from Newcastle United in 2018 after previously playing in the youth ranks at Manchester City, shared a rendition of "Yo Home to Bel-Air" ahead of the Clarets' Premier League game at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

It was the first time that the Under 23s ace had travelled with Sean Dyche's squad for a competitive fixture and, owing to club tradition, he led a sing-song at a pre-match meal in the capital.

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"They've been really sound," he said. "I sang at Spurs, so that's out of the way now. I'm glad I don't have to do that again. I sang 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air', it wasn't any good, I think I was just talking through it.

"All the lads are really sound, we get along with each other and they've helped mix us into the group. Once the singing is out of the way you can just enjoy it. I'll probably get a bit of stick for that.

"I'm enjoying it a lot. I didn't think so quickly after my injury that I'd be in and around it, named on the bench and travelling with them to games. I feel really blessed and I'm looking to take any opportunity."

Goodridge, who was named on the bench against the Champions League finalists, alongside Anthony Driscoll-Glennon, also made the journey to Stamford Bridge at the weekend as the Clarets were beaten 3-0.

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He said: "Because there have been a lot of injuries and a few of the lads were ill, me and Ali [Koiki] were training with the first team leading up to the [Chelsea] game. Tony [Loughlan] spoke to me and said there were lads with injuries and illness so I needed to stay ready.

"We trained the next day and then they asked me to bring my travelling gear because I was travelling down with them. It was a good day out.

"I love a good stadium. There was the new one at Spurs and Stamford Bridge; it's a real eye opener. It makes you hungry for more.

"It's a lot different to how we get treated with the Under 23s. It's a lot more professional, it's the business end of football, you've got to do everything right and be on top of your game. It's all about preparation so when you get out on the pitch you're ready."

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Goodridge, who figured in a couple of pre-season games, has been in fine tune in the Professional Development League this term and he's vowed to keep his head down in bid to keep moving his career forward.

Winger Dwight McNeil, who has now contributed to 13 goals in the Premier League since taking his chance, has given Goodridge and others hope that they can make it.

"I speak to Dwight [McNeil]," said Goodridge, who featured in a 2-0 win over Sheffield United at the Tameside Stadium for the Under 23s. "That's what you aspire to, obviously being a similar age. Seeing how well he's doing in the Premier League gives the young lads a lot of hope.

"Dwight's shown that you can get a chance, he's taken his and now he's playing in the Premier League. He's setting the standard for a lot of young lads."

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Goodridge's next step isn't yet clear, but he's open to joining some of his team-mates out on loan if he feels the move is right for his progression.

Adam Phillips netted on his debut for Morecambe, featuring alongside Ryan Cooney against Colchester United in League Two, while Glennon started Grimsby Town's 1-1 draw against Leyton Orient.

Christian N'Guessan came on to make his professional bow for Oldham Athletic in their stalemate against Macclesfield Town and Scott Wilson, named in the starting XI for Blyth Spartans, went up against team-mate Tunde Bayode, who made his full debut for Curzon Ashton.

Striker Will Harris started Warrington Town's 1-0 win over Radcliffe and Mitch George was once again given the nod for Clitheroe.

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"There are a lot of lads out," Goodridge said. "I think there are six or seven of them that have gone out on loan.

"It just shows all the young lads who stepped in today - Max [Thomson], who is a striker and came in to fill in at right back when we went down to 10 men - we trust anybody that comes out onto the pitch. We've got a good group of lads.

"I saw that Adam Phillips scored, some of the lads made debuts, Scott [Wilson] played against Tunde [Bayode] for Blyth.

"There's definitely a buzz with the Under 23s doing so well. The first team are going through a rough patch, but I'm sure they'll come through that. It's looking good."

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He added: "I've just got to see how it goes. There might be opportunities with the first team, but I've just got to keep playing well for the Under 23s and take any opportunity that comes.

"That might be going out on loan or staying here and getting opportunities with the first team. I need to keep my head down and keep doing what I'm doing."