One For The Future: Oliver McBurnie

Now the name Oliver McBurnie will probably mean nothing to you unless you are a Bradford City fan, but Bradford youth team striker McBurnie could well be a very hot prospect.

At just 17 years of age, McBurnie has already signed a 3-year professional contract with The Bantams, following his red-hot form in youth team games, and a call-up to the Scotland under-19s squad.  17 goals in ten youth team games, including 4 hat-tricks, is the mark of a prolific and natural goalscorer, and goes some way to explaining the faith Bradford manager Phil Parkinson has put in him by offering him a professional contract. McBurnie’s goalscoring prowess has seen the Bradford City under 18’s side win all bar one of their games so far, and McBurnie stands out in what is a very promising crop of Bradford City apprentices.

Loaned to Manchester United’s youth team in the summer, McBurnie was joint-top scorer in the Milk Cup youth tournament, including scoring the winner for United. This was an impressive feat for McBurnie, and one that proves his potential.

At 6ft 2in, McBurnie’s aerial ability is remarkably similar to that of Bradford targetman James Hanson, and surely McBurnie training with the first team, and learning from Hanson, will only benefit his development further. McBurnie also has a fair bit of pace about him, useful for any striker, and the versatility he possesses in both strength and speed makes him a handful for any youth team defender, as his incredible goalscoring record this season so far has shown.

McBurnie is very highly rated by Peter Horne, head of youth development at Bradford City, and by manager Phil Parkinson, and McBurnie has both trained and travelled with the first team squad on a few occasions already this season, such as at last weekend’s away game at Crewe Alexandra. Speaking to the club’s official website, Parkinson said that "To get 17 goals for the youth team already - I have to start looking at trying to get him involved with the first team squad and get him training with us on a more regular basis.”

With Bradford’s upcoming FA Cup tie at Rotherham, and with strikers Andy Gray and Alan Connell being told that they are free to go out on loan, there is every possibility that McBurnie could feature in this game in some capacity, probably from the bench.

Remember the name, though, as Oliver McBurnie could become a very good striker in the future, and if he carries on scoring like he is, and developing his game, Bradford certainly have a hot prospect on their hands.

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