In a new feature we aim to check in on a regular basis with Oxford United’s on-loan players.
This week we caught up with forward Malachi Napa who has played nine times so far since joining Macclesfield Town on loan until January. 19-year-old Malachi earned plenty of praise for his performance on Tuesday night as the Silkmen won on penalties against Blackpool in the Checkatrade Trophy
“We have been playing pretty well” he told us “but results haven’t gone our way so far. It has been great though and I’m learning so much. Macclesfield have stepped up from the division below so it has been a case of having to adapt. Tuesday night’s game was another step in the right direction we felt and I have enjoyed it a lot. It’s a really good club and the Manager and staff have been excellent.
“It is a little bit more physical but that’s not going to stop me running at people and playing my natural game. That’s what I like to do and I have picked up a couple of assists so far, although no goals yet!"
Unlike his good friend Shandon Baptiste who signed as a pro on the same day along with keeper Manny Agboola, and who scored a screamer at Newport last week…
“I know!” Malachi laughs. “It was a really good strike and I was so pleased for him. We speak all the time and all three of us try and encourage each other and try to help where we can. Shandon has made the most of his chance this season and I couldn’t be more pleased for him.”
Malachi is joined at Moss Rose by defender Fiacre Kelleher on a similar loan deal and there are plenty more familiar faces around the pair as well.
“Kells has done well” Malachi said. “He didn’t play the other night but he has settled in really quickly- it’s a friendly club and we have been made to feel welcome. Miles Welch-Hayes is here too, another who was in the youth set up at Oxford, and I am currently sharing a house with Tyrone Marsh who was at Oxford as a kid. So there are good connections between the two clubs.”
Hugely popular with fans as well as the players at Oxford, Malachi sounds very happy with the way his loan has worked out so far.
“Yeah, I miss the people at Oxford” he said “but I’m getting plenty of game time and learning all the time so it is working out well. I am here to learn and work hard at my game.
"Seeing Shandon make a mark in the first team at Oxford spurs me on to make a good impression here and keep improving all the time. I’ll try and come back and see everyone soon, but I’m looking to help Macclesfield right now and get a win at Stevenage on Saturday."