Get to know…..Junior Masandi

Published on 28 September 2023 at 22:09

We're back with our 'Get to know you' player segments and this time we chat to forward Junior Masandi, to get to know more about the player outside of just football. The 33-year-old joined Durham City in February 2023, as part of the new squad rebuild. Junior formerly played for Durham City a few seasons back and has also spent time at Wolviston FC and Willington FC. 


How did you get into football?

I was 11 years old I think when I started kicking a ball. I first came to the country and didn’t speak English, so going to school  all I knew was just to kick a ball and use the universal language. It did help I started to speak English within 6 months and I remember signing for my first team Whinney Banks and then just evolving from there.

Who do you support?

I am an Arsenal fan through and through.

Who is your favourite football player, past or present?

I think it doesn’t take a lot to know Thierry Henry was my idol his style of play, the way his demeanour was. I got lucky to just pass by him once when Arsenal played Middlesbrough years ago I was star-struck .

Favourite football moment? Can be your own or one you have witnessed.

Well there are two I have to mention. Coming off the bench and scoring a hat trick against RCA and winning the game. It was really great to see Durham celebrate and everyone to be happy for a moment. I live for those little moments. And I think Boro at the Riverside Stadium when Middlesbrough came back from behind to beat Steau Bucharest in 2006 EUFA cup semi final and Massimo Maccarone scored those two goals the atmosphere was electrifying.

What is your go to song to get you pumped up for match day?

I am a very chilled guy, so I go more gospel R'n'B to get my head right and in the right place. Kirk Franklin is on my playlist but if I am going to say one it will have to be Mary Mary - Can’t give up now. Really deep words for self affirmation.

Any superstitions or pre-game rituals you have to do?

I don’t eat anything before any game - so if anyone sees me I am always starving after games. I like to be fully light so I make sure to have a big carb meal the night before, then on a morning I just have my coffee and away we go.

What is your favourite food? Can be a meal or cuisine 

Oh I love home cooking as I am Congolese. I miss home food so much - Ntaba & Kwanga - which is spiced and open flamed BBQ's lamb meat and Kwanga is a type of Congolese pap made from manioc.

Do you have any other hobbies outside of football? What do you like to do in your downtime?

In my down time I love to just be at home, I am a home bird. I go to the gym, come home, listen to music, cook and watch movies. Outside of any events I get involved in, I’m a full on introvert.

If money wasn’t an issue, where in the world would you choose to go, either on holiday or to live?

I would go back home, home is where the heart is. I think anyone that knows me knows the passion I have for supporting under privileged children who could have easily been me. The difference we have is just luck.

If you could play for any football team in the world (that isn’t Durham City of course) who would it be and why?

Right, if it wasn’t Durham City I would probably play for Ted Lasso’s Richmond FC

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