New signing Manpala out to impress with Tigers

NEW Hyde United signing Manasse Manpala is hoping to repay the faith shown in him by Tigers’ manager Nick Spooner.

The forward, who spent almost six years at Everton, had been struggling to find a club after leaving Carlisle United at the end of last season.

Manpala, 22, who had trials at FC Halifax Town and Yeovil Town without securing a deal, had spoken to Spooner back in August when he was in the radar of the other clubs.

“When I was not playing, Nick contacted me again and invited me to the club which is how I came to join Hyde,” he explained.

“Nick has showed belief in me, and this is a good opportunity for me to come here and do well in a good team.

Manasse Mampala

“Regardless of the level, if you do well, people will see you. And it remains an ambition to join another EFL club.”

The Leeds-based Manpala admitted it was a step into the unknown joining the Northern Premier League Tigers.

“When I came, I did not know what to expect,” he said.

“I have been impressed how professional the set-up is. The lads are great, and the training sessions are quality ones so I cannot complain.”

Manpala’s team-mates have also caught the eye.

“We have some very good players and Jack Redshaw is quality. He impressed me from the first training session,” he continued.

Manpala, who scored his first goal in the Manchester Premier Cup defeat at Trafford, believes it will take a little time to get up to speed.

“Prior to coming here, I had not played since the end of last season so it will take a little time to get my fitness up to speed,” he said.

It has been a fascinating journey to the Project Solar Stadium for Manpala who was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo but his family moved to England when he was aged two.

Manpala was picked up by Everton at Under-15 level when he was playing for the Leeds based Ultimate Football Coaching Academy (UFCA).

He came through the academy and after a scholarship signed professional terms with the Toffees.

And Manpala lined up alongside Anthony Gordon, now on the verge of the full England team, for the U18s.

“Anthony was playing one year younger for the U18s, but you could see then how good a player he was,” he said.

“He was the top goalscorer in the league when he was a first-year scholar.”

Manpala also had Josh Bowler and Shayne Lavery as Everton team-mates. Both moved to Blackpool and Bowler has since signed for Nottingham Forest, evidence of the calibre of player he played alongside as they won the Under-23 league and cup.

“The six years I spent at Everton were amazing. It was hard leaving, but I was prepared as the time was right to move on and experience first-team football,” he explained.

Manpala joined QPR in October 2020 at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic and remained until joining Carlisle United in July last year.

He enjoyed success with the Cumbrian club making three starts, eight substitute appearances and scoring against Hartlepool in the Papa John’s Trophy.

“Manager Chris Beech helped me, but when he was sacked things changed. New manager Keith Millen didn’t know my best position, striker or winger.

“And when the chance came to join Weymouth on loan in January, I thought it best to go,” he said.

“Weymouth were struggling, and the move did not go to plan, though I learned a lot from the experience.”

Manpala, who fell in love with Arsenal after Thierry Henry was his idol, was released by Carlisle at the end of the season when the search began for a new club, and which ultimately led to him signing non-contract terms for Hyde.

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