Bobby Reid’s Form Key for Bristol City

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WATFORD, ENGLAND - AUGUST 22: Bobby Reid of Bristol City celebrates scoring his sides second goal during the Carabao Cup Second Round match between Watford and Bristol City at Vicarage Road on August 22, 2017 in Watford, England. (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)

Bobby Reid’s form in the Championship is integral to how Bristol City fare for the remainder of this season. The 24-year old striker, once deemed lightweight and not good enough for the first team, is now scoring regularly and showing his true potential. He has netted seven goals in 13 league appearances so far this year, and is joint top scorer in the Championship along with Jarrod Bowen, Diogo Jota and Gary Hooper.

Bobby Reid’s Form Key for Bristol City

A product of the club’s academy, Reid had to settle with short-term loan moves to Plymouth Argyle, Oldham Athletic and Cheltenham Town before making the break into the Robins’ first XI. He had to bide his time at a club not formerly prone to playing academy graduates on a regular basis, but made his debut at 18 years of age in 2011. He only fully broke into the first team much later, however, with 27 appearances in the 2015/16 campaign.

The Bristol-born player is one of a rare breed with only Joe Bryan, Zak Vyner, Louis Carey and Cole Skuse being the other academy products to have played for the Robins on a regular season-by-season basis over the last ten years. Most academy products like Joe Edwards, now at Walsall, or Ryan Harley at Exeter, plied their trade at lower league clubs in the South West. This talented pool has had a history of signing permanently with these teams because of limited opportunities in Bristol.

This stigma of not selecting academy players looks to be on the way out, however. England Under-20’s left-back Lloyd Kelly has earned a run of matches in the Carabao Cup. Midfielder Freddie Hinds has scored twice from outside the box in his two starts this term.

Manager Lee Johnson is himself a former player, making 174 appearances for the West Country club. The 36-year old was no doubt aware of the talent pool, neglected at the time under his father Gary’s managerial tenure.

Johnson signed Reid on a short-term loan deal during his time at Oldham Athletic in 2013. The young manager continues to praise the in-form striker. With eight goals this season and two man-of-the-match performances to his name, Lee Johnson will be vying to retain the services of the 24-year old Bristolian in January.

City currently lie seventh in the Championship and six points off the promotion places. It has been the club’s best start to a season in the second tier since the 2007/08 campaign, where where the Robins reached the play-off final. Reid is certainly integral to ensuring the club finish in the upper echelons of the league this season.

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I am primarily interested in and write about lower league English football, I support Bristol City and follow Nottingham Forest and Notts County. Cricket, in particular Somerset and England as well as Bath Rugby include some of my other sport writing interests as well as European and Premier League football. In terms of previous and current sports journalism experience, I was sport editor of my university’s radio station and magazine last year, have been nominated for Student Publication Awards and Student Radio Awards and have had work experience at two regional newspapers. I am also currently studying for a masters degree in broadcast journalism.

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