Derby starlet reveals former Hull City striker is a 'real mentor'

Bradford City stadium

Derby County 18-year-old sensation Mason Bennett has revealed former Hull City striker Aaron McLean has helped him improve as a player while on loan at Bradford City.

Mason Bennett returned for the Rams’ under-21 side Monday night as they endured a frustrated afternoon at Bolton Wanderers’ Macron Stadium.

Bolton flew out the blocks and deservedly went 1-0 up thanks to a well-rehearsed corner. From then on, Derby retained the ball better and should have perhaps equalised with one of the many efforts that peppered Paddy Kenny’s goal with in the remaining 75 minutes of the match. The young Derby side, however, couldn’t find a way through and left greater Manchester in a particularly frustrated mood.

After the match, a frustrated Mason Bennett went on to comment on the game and how his loan with Bradford City was going.

‘’As soon as I got the phone call I was really happy to come and see the lads again,’’ Bennett told dcfc.co.uk

‘’It’s nice to play with a few of the lads who have made first-team appearances, like Ivan [Calero] and Alefe [Santos], to see how they have pushed on. I enjoyed it and it was good to get 90 minutes under my belt.

‘’In the first 20 minutes we were a bit slow out of the blocks, but after that, we dominated the game and we had a lot of chances.

‘’Myself and few other lads really should have put the ball in the back of the net.’’

Bennett - who holds the record as Derby’s youngest ever player - is currently on a youth loan deal with the Bantams – a deal that allows him to play for Derby’s development side if called upon.

The young striker added: ‘’It’s been a good experience for me being up there away from Derby and away from home, but I’m enjoying it.

‘’The lads are nice up there and hopefully we will have success over this season. I can see how difficult it really is to get in a team now. The weeks building up to a game and you’re starting it’s a nice feeling and a great experience.

‘’Phil [Parkinson] is a good manager. He speaks to me a lot and he thinks highly of me. He’s great to talk to, and if I have anything on my mind, I can go to him. I’m really enjoying it.’’

The Derby youngster, however, reserved a special mentioned for former Hull City striker Aaron McLean, who he described as a ‘real mentor’.

‘’Aaron mcLean has helped me out so many times up there,’’ Bennett said. ‘’He is constantly in my ear telling me what I should and shouldn’t do and how I can improve my game.

‘’He’s been a real mentor for me up there.’’

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch