Nottingham Forest’s Ollie Burke makes first league start on loan at Bradford City

Ollie Burke signed a two-year contract with Nottingham Forest last September EMN-150225-132630002
Ollie Burke signed a two-year contract with Nottingham Forest last September EMN-150225-132630002

Highly-rated young winger Ollie Burke made his first league start in professional football on Tuesday, just hours after a loan switch was announced.

The 17-year-old was drafted straight into the Bradford City starting XI for the Bantams’ League One match at promotion-chasing Swindon.

Burke, from Burton Lazars, played 75 minutes before he was substituted in the 2-1 defeat.

The pacey winger played a pivotal role in Forest’s run to the FA Youth Cup quarter-finals, and will spend a month gaining experience at Valley Parade.

Talking to BBC Radio Nottingham, Forest manager Dougie Freedman explained the reasons behind Burke’s loan move.

He said: “I have watched the kid for a couple of weeks now as he is training with us and he’s a really good talent.

“Unfortunately for him he’s not going to get as much first team action as I’d like him to have because the team is doing well, and in that certain position there are a few players ahead of him.

“So the best thing for his development is to let him go out on loan.”

It has been a whirlwind season for the former Mowbray Rangers player who signed his first professional contract last September. He then made his first senior start for the Reds just days later in the Carling Cup tie at Tottenham.

Burke scored on his league debut for parent club Nottingham Forest earlier this month after coming on for the last 25 minutes of the Championship clash at Blackpool.

His stunning strike put Forest 4-3 ahead and looked to have won the game in the fifth minute of injury time, only for the hosts to level with almost the final kick.