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Cunningham looking to impress new manager

By Bradley Saxton | 23rd November 2021

Defender Lewis Cunningham is excited about the arrival of John Askey as manager of the Minstermen and he is ready to make his debut for the club if chosen by the new boss.

The former Doncaster Rovers youngster signed his first professional contract with the Minstermen in the summer after leaving the League One side.

He has been a regular in Ryan’s U19 side so far this season, but now he wants to push on and cement a place in the first-team following the arrival of Askey at the club.

Cunningham has been a stand-out performer so far this season for the U19’s, but he has also been an attacking threat after scoring his fourth goal of the season during last week’s 2-1 defeat at home to Chesterfield in the National League Alliance U19 Academy North - making him the joint top goalscorer.

We recently caught up with Cunningham, who was delighted with the start he has made at the club following his arrival in the summer and is excited about what’s to come for the rest of the season.

“The staff have been great with me since I came to the club, we’ve got a very good relationship,” said Cunningham.  

“I’m loving the opportunity to be able to learn every day in the first team alongside the likes of Sean (Newton) and Paddy (McLaughlin) and I’ve been very lucky to be named on the bench on several occasions this season.

“I feel that I have learned a lot about the mental side of the game about pre-match, post-match and how to conduct yourself throughout, so being included within the first-team squad has been really beneficial for me."

Cunningham’s goal last week against Chesterfield saw him take his tally to four for the season, with three of them coming in his two previous games. The defender feels the academy games have benefited him and helped him develop as a footballer as he looks to push for a spot in Askey’s squad.

“I want to get as much experience from these Under 19 games as possible,” added Cunningham.

“We might have lost last week in the league, but hopefully we can push on now past this and try to win this league.

“I feel I have learned massively from these types of games, at Doncaster I used to play on nice surfaces every week and this season I’ve learned a lot from playing on these types of pitches which are all very different."

The main goal now for every young player is to play first-team football and Cunningham says that he is ready to put his hand up if Askey needs him within the first-team.

He added: “It’s a really good feeling to chip in with the goals so far this season, we have had to dig deep in many games to get the win, but I think the boys have been brilliant so far this season and I really enjoy playing alongside them.

“I’m really enjoying playing these games but the more I play, the more confident I’m becoming and I feel like I can put my hand up anytime now and say I’m ready to play if the new gaffer needs me."

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