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Former York City loanee Ben Gibson inspires new recruit Ryan Brobbel
RYAN Brobbel is hoping he can follow the example of Middlesbrough team-mate Ben Gibson by kick-starting his career with a successful loan spell at Bootham Crescent.
The 20-year-old winger made his Football League debut as a second-half substitute during City’s 2-1 defeat at Exeter on Saturday.
He is now targeting a first start against AFC Wimbledon this weekend and has admitted Gibson’s experiences with the Minstermen made his move to North Yorkshire an attractive proposition.
Brobbel and Gibson have come through the ranks together at the Riverside Stadium.
Defender Gibson helped the Minstermen gain promotion to the Football League in 2012, playing at Wembley in the play-off final victory over Luton, before securing a further loan move to Tranmere the following season.
He went on to make 28 appearances for the Wirral side as they challenged at the higher end of the League One table last term and Brobbel now wants to start making a name for himself in the game as well.
City’s latest north-east recruit said: “I know Ben very well and he told me that York are a great club. He really enjoyed it here and was obviously involved in the promotion season.
“He said I should come here, do my best and push on. He’s since gone on loan in League One and played first-team football.
“Hopefully, I can do the same. I signed for Boro at the age of eight so I have been there quite a long time.
“The club must think plenty of me but I want to push on now. I am in the last year of my contract and, if I do well at York, you never know, I could get a contract back there but, if not, it might open other clubs’ eyes.”
Brobbel has found the competition for first-team places tough at Championship club Boro and, after four seasons of under-18 and reserve-team football, feels the time is right to prove his worth in the Football League.
He added: “I’ve just been playing U21 football at Middlesbrough and have been constantly telling them I want to go out on loan. Then, it just happened overnight really.
“I was told York were looking for a young, attacking winger and, when I was asked if I wanted to go there, I grasped the opportunity.
“It was good to get minutes under my belt for the team on Saturday and I felt we performed well during the full game.
“We could have defended a bit better at times but we deserved a point if not a win. It’s my first time out as a loanee and I am looking to push on now by getting more experience at a great club like York City.”
As a Northern Ireland U21 international, Brobbel is also relishing the chance to impress City chief Nigel Worthington – his country’s former head coach. Brobbel said: “He has seen me before when I was a youngster and, hopefully, I am doing enough to get a start instead of just coming on. It’s good he’s here and I want to perform in front of him.”
Brobbel has played in the centre of midfield as well as out wide for his parent club but believes he is most effective from the flanks, saying: “We were struggling for midfielders last season at Middlesbrough so I played inside a bit.
“I don’t mind doing that if the manager asks me to, but I do like playing as a winger.”
Despite being only 5ft 8in, Brobbel also insists he is ready for the physical challenge presented by League Two football. “Before I came here, I was told it was going to be tough but I just had to prepare myself,” Brobbel reasoned. “I am not the biggest lad but I will just have to put my body in the way when I can.
“I don’t think the gaffer expects me to fly into tackles like a big centre-half but he does not expect me to shy out of challenges either. It’s all just a case of doing what I can for the team.”
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