Manchester United academy youngster Ondsje Mastny has left the club on loan

For many Manchester United stars, the trip to the North Island for the Milk Cup, now called the Super Cup, is a ritual. The competition is a breeding ground for talents such as David Beckham and more recently Marcus Rashford.

The Red Devils are a regular feature of the tournament.

A recent visit to current club Portsmouth saw loanee Ondrej Mastny miss out on the 2016 edition of the competition (via Manchester Evening News). The incident led to the young goalkeeper’s move to United.

The rise and rise of Mastani

The United youngster is eager to get regular game time in the senior squad. Mastney, 21, is more focused on the present after a series of injuries slowed his development. The Czech Republic shop-stopper has been a regular for the Red Devils in their 2020 FA Youth Cup campaign. The rising star under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has lined up as the third-choice defender for the senior side who travel to Norwich and Wolves.

Training and traveling with the first team gave Mastani invaluable experience. Some of his youth teammates (Alejandro Garnacho and Anthony Ilanga) have graduated to the senior level.

The goalkeeper has this to say about the progress of his time.

“It’s different in my position.”

Unless you’re someone like Donnarma, you usually go league by league and step by step. But it’s great to see them (Garnacho and Elanga) play. There is a way.”

Mastny’s journey started with the second Czech club Vysosina Jihlava. He impressed, earning a place in the national academy set-up which eventually led him to Northern Ireland and eventually United.

His memories of his career are vivid. The Guardian remembers:

“I was 15 and I played in the Super Cup.”

“I got a call from Man United after the tournament, and I started at United in 2018.”

Damage has been done

Even though Mastni was away from his family, he rolled up his sleeves and went to work. It impressed him. He was a regular in the under-18 team and soon graduated to first-choice in the under-23s. Quality performances in 2020 earned the young keeper first-team call-ups.

At the time, Mastney looked set to enjoy a promising career at Old Trafford. It’s still possible, but he’s been sidelined by injury for the time being.

“I was very unlucky with injuries,” he recalls.

“That stopped me more than anything else. It wasn’t just one thing to repeat himself; There was always something different – scattered images, my back. It was disappointing, and I didn’t get much consistent football. It was stop-start. Hopefully, that’s behind me now.

“After the injury and all the difficult times I’ve had to overcome, my main goal is to play as much as possible. I didn’t think much about the future, it’s hard to work in football. I want to play as much as possible.

Mastney’s stay in Northern Ireland fulfilled his wish.

The journey has taken many twists and turns, faced many setbacks and challenges. For now, the young man can focus on what he loves – playing football.

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