Club News

Izzy pays tribute to Academy staff

And 16-year-old ace talks about whirlwind weekend with first-team

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.”