City starlet Oliver McBurnie is already eyeing pre-season after a “crazy” breakthrough year.
The teenage striker has been in Scotland for an end-of-term training camp with Ricky Sbragia’s under-19 national squad as they build towards the European Championship qualifiers in October against Norway, Lithuania and Finland.
The stint north of the border brings the curtain down on a memorable campaign for the youngster, whose progress was rewarded by Phil Parkinson with a pro contract until June 2016.
He burst into the spotlight last July when he guested for Manchester United’s youth team in the prestigious Milk Cup in Northern Ireland – and finished with the tournament’s golden boot.
McBurnie went on to score a prolific 29 goals in 17 outings for City’s youngsters as well as making nine senior appearances, including two starts.
“It’s been a long season and so much has happened,” he said. “I probably haven’t played as many games as I’d have liked but it’s been crazy in terms of what’s gone on.
“It will be nice to let everything sink in and reflect on what I’ve done. It’s been ridiculous really.
“I’ll give my body a rest but then it’s a case of getting back to work again because I know how important this pre-season will be.”
Parkinson is continuing to hold talks with the club’s out-of-contract players and plenty of changes are anticipated ahead of next term. The ambitious 18-year-old is determined to stake his own claim.
McBurnie made his full debut against Rotherham at Valley Parade on Boxing Day and also started in the home draw with Bristol City three weeks later.
He played only once as a sub in the final three months but is targeting a big pre-season to put himself firmly in the manager’s thoughts.
McBurnie added: “It’s going to be a massive opportunity for me to show what I can do.
“I’ll probably get a lot of chances with the gaffer rotating the team for the friendlies. I need to make the most of them.
“Hopefully when the season comes I’ll have done enough to show that I’m worthy of a spot in his plans.”