Doncaster Rovers: Aston Villa loanee Niall Mason sets his stall out

Niall Mason
Niall Mason

Niall Mason sees himself as a defender first and foremost.

The Aston Villa teenager’s versatility was a big selling point to Doncaster Rovers manager Darren Ferguson, who snapped him up on loan until January last week.

Mason has already given an indication of those qualities by playing as a right-sided and left-sided centre back in the defeats to Accrington Stanley and Nottingham Forest.

He also played in midfield for his previous club Southampton and has even operated further forward earlier in his career.

But while the 19-year-old says he is not shy with the ball at his feet, he says his defensive instincts have come to the fore.

“I’m quite a versatile player but I mostly play at the back, at centre back,” said Mason.

“I enjoy keeping clean sheets.

“I’m a defender first of all, but I do like to play a bit as well.

“Hopefully I can start as many games as possible here, win as many games as possible, keep clean sheets and go for promotion.”

Mason made his EFL debut in last weekend’s reverse at Accrington.

He has linked up with Villa teammate Riccardo Calder at the Keepmoat Stadium.

“I found out about the move last week and I was really looking forward to it because of how big this club is and the manager,” Mason said.

“The ambition of the club to get straight back up really excited me.

“This would have been my third year playing under-21s football so I really wanted to get out and play some league games and try and start my career really.

“Riccardo’s given me some advice.

“He’s been telling me all about it, and how he has improved as a player.”