Coventry City's first summer recruit lifts lid on season accolades and being a 'marked man'

Coventry City’s first official summer recruit insists he wants to ‘hit the ground running’ when he embarks on the next exciting chapter of his blossoming career. And if this season’s achievements by Ephron Mason-Clark at League One Peterborough United are anything to go by, then the 24-year-old January signing is going to be a huge favourite with the Sky Blue Army.

Mason-Clark this week said his goodbyes to Posh, for whom he finished top scorer with 19 goals in all competitions (14 in the league), provided 14 assists, was named in the EFL League One Team of the Season and voted Players’ Player of the Year by his teammates, who just missed out on the play-off final after being beaten by Oxford United in the two-legged semis.

City shelled out £4.25million on the quick and powerful left winger in the mid-term transfer window but were reluctantly forced to send him back on loan for the remainder of the campaign – a stipulation of the deal that saved the club £750,000 but proved costly in the long run when the Sky Blues ran out of steam, struggling with a lack of strength in depth towards the end of the season.

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As part of the January deal, Posh owner Darragh MacAnthony revealed that his Coventry counterpart, Doug King, was interested in a number of the club's other young players and asked for an 'option' to buy one in particular this summer.

It’s been quite the rise through the divisions for Mason-Clark, who was playing for Barnet in the National League until Posh signed him in August 2022 for a reported fee of just £200k. Since then he’s scored 32 goals in 103 appearances for the London Road club.

“I’ve enjoyed every single second of my time here,” Mason-Clark told the club’s official Posh Plus service. “Two years ago, if you’d told me I would have had the experiences I’ve had I would never have believed you. To win (the Football League Trophy) at Wembley with my family there was an obvious highlight, but just playing in a team that played in a way not seen much in League One before was just so enjoyable. The team spirit was the reason why we could win at a place like Derby County.

“I’ve been so lucky to be a part of such a great group of players. They are top people off the pitch as well as top players on it. I was nervous on my first day at the club, but it instantly felt I was joining a family.”

Reflecting on his personal achievements and revealing how he has had to adapt his game after being a “marked man” in the division – something that he may have to come to terms with all over again when he steps up to the Championship with Coventry next season, he said: “It’s important to have confidence in yourself and I am happy with what I achieved last season, but my teammates and the coaching staff pushed me to those stats. I have to thank them and the club’s fans for their support.

“I’ve been a marked man at times so I had to keep adapting and changing my game so I didn’t become one dimensional. It was tough at times, but I’m happy to have dealt with it all and come through it. I always want to be better than I was the day before.”

Mason-Clark’s season ultimately ended in disappointment after Posh failed to make a second trip to Wembley in the play-off final, but he’s now looking ahead to a fresh start and making an impact at the CBS Arena.

“It was disappointing not to have finished the job off, but Oxford stuck to their guns and it just wouldn’t happen for us,” he said. “The support from the fans throughout that game, and even at the end was incredible though. The team will need that again next season.

“It was emotional at the end, but I have some time now with my family which will be good. I want to make sure I hit the ground running next season though.”

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