Swansea City striker Oli McBurnie: I could have quit football
25th November 2016
Rising star Oli McBurnie reckons he might have dropped out of football had he not joined Swansea City.
The Swans spotted McBurnie's potential when the teenager was on the fringes of the first-team picture at Bradford City, snapping him up in July 2015.
Some 16 months later, the striker has a first Premier League appearance to his name - and hopes to be involved again when the Swans face Crystal Palace this weekend.
Now McBurnie has revealed how his professional career might have fizzled out had he stayed on at Bradford.
"I have always been confident in my own abilities and I knew if I was given the chance I would be able to show what I can do," he tells this weekend's Jack Magazine.
"But I think if a few things had gone differently or if I had stayed at Bradford, there is a chance I would not be playing football anymore.
"They had a small squad and not a lot of time to develop younger players and in that system, you were either ready for the first team or there was no point you being there.
"I understood completely, that is football at times. It did help point me in the right direction and focused my mind.
"It was important for me to further myself and progress, so I knew I needed to move on. It was at that time Swansea offered me a contract."
McBurnie has been a regular goalscorer for the Swans' development squad ever since making the switch to Wales.
The 20-year-old, who recently penned a contract extension which ties him to the Liberty until 2019, was part of the first-team squad during their pre-season trip to America.
He scored twice on his senior Swans debut against Peterborough in August, then featured for the first time in the top flight at Leicester.
McBurnie made the bench at Everton last weekend, and could feature once more against Palace.
"If someone had told me I would have achieved what I have achieved when I signed last summer I would not have believed them," he adds.
"I was included on the first team's pre-season tour to America this summer, which was a big thing for me.
"I knew at that moment I was being given a chance to take a step up and impress, so I had to take it.
"Making my debut against Leicester was a bit surreal.
"You dream about it when you are a kid, but when I got out there it just felt normal.
"Even though it was only a 10-minute substitute appearance, I loved every second. Only after when I saw the reaction from friends and family did it finally sink in just how far I had come in the short space of time."
*You can read the full interview with Oli in this weekend's edition of Jack Magazine.
Issue seven of the Premier League campaign is available for just £3 from around the Liberty, the club shop and online.