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Joel Ready To Strike A Blow

Young forward grateful for Turf Moor chance

8 October 2019

Joel Mumbongo is looking to repay the Clarets’ faith after finally making his debut for the club.

Mumbongo started his first game for the Under-23s in last weekend’s Premier League Cup draw at Middlesbrough.

His Burnley bow came three months after the Swedish striker first linked up with Steve Stone’s squad for pre-season.

And it was a reward for his hard work in over-coming a knee problem and the Clarets’ desire to give the 20-year-old a chance in English football.

“It started well but as time went on it was hard on my knee because the tempo was just so high, and I couldn’t take it,” said Mumbongo, who went with the Under-23s on their summer training camp to Poland and featured in a couple of pre-season friendlies.

Joel Mumbongo.jpg

“I had to tell them I was in pain and we talked about it. I’m lucky that they still wanted me here and helped me and I’m very thankful for that because I don’t think many teams would do that.

“I think they would just send me home and tell me to get fit.”

Mumbongo – Stockholm-born to Congolese parents who started his career with Swedish top-flight club BK Hacken – first suffered a knee injury last season when playing in Italy for Hellas Verona.

He returned home to train with former club Utsikten but it has taken a spell of rest, treatment and rehabilitation work with the Clarets to get the Sweden Under-19 international back to up to speed.

And he is now bidding to make an impact at Under-23 level by helping Stone’s side continue their unbeaten start and state his own case for a longer stay at Turf Moor.

Mumbongo Verona 2.png

“I have been waiting for that, just to get on the pitch,” added Mumbongo, who played for an hour of the Clarets’ 1-1 Group G cup draw at Boro.

“It was a good feeling, just that all the hard work in the gym every day pays off.

“It’s a great squad here and the football is good for your development. There are a lot of good players and you can’t just be comfortable in training because someone can take your place.

“That’s what you need, to push you every day.

“The next few months I just want to play games and get back to where I was before the injury.

“I feel confident and I feel strong; just trust my ability and what I can do on the pitch and the rest will come naturally.”

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