ISAIAH Brown has paid tribute to the Albion Academy coaching staff for helping him make a rapid rise into the first-team squad at the age of 16.
The young midfielder, better known as Izzy, was an unused substitute in Saturday’s 1-0 top-flight defeat at Chelsea.
Had he come on he would have been the youngest-ever Barclays Premier League player at 16 years and 54 days.
But he was just delighted to be involved in what turned out to be a whirlwind weekend.
“The experience was amazing,” said Brown.
“The boys helped me fit in well and it was great going to a stadium like Stamford Bridge.
“I found out first from Twitter I was travelling.
“It happened so quickly and Steve Clarke grabbed me and told me I was involved - and I have to thank him for giving me this experience.
“My mum was over the moon, she shed a few tears, and my friends have just been buzzing about it.
“I did get a few butterflies when I saw my shirt hanging up - it’s something special.
“Getting a first-team shirt and squad number is what every boy dreams of.
“When I warmed up the fans sang a little song, it was a good reaction – and I wasn’t expecting it at all.”
Brown has spent three years in the Baggies' Academy and it was back to reality yesterday as he played 90 minutes in the Under-21s' 2-2 draw with Arsenal, at The Hawthorns.
“I just want to get more first-team football and hopefully soon make my debut," he added.
“It is great faith in me. I trained with the first-team a few times last week and the gaffer said I did well.
“Hopefully I can get called up more and show the gaffer what I can do.
“The Academy staff are a massive part.
“They keep my feet firmly on the ground.
“They help me week in, week out and I can go to them and ask advice and what I need to work on.
“Me and Mark [Harrison] have quite a close relationship and he’s helped me a lot through most of the time I’ve had in Birmingham.”