Academy graduate has scored 14 goals for Albion so far
SAIDO Berahino has hailed the influence of Albion's Academy manager Mark Harrison and former sporting and technical director Dan Ashworth on his flourishing career to date.
The 21-year-old Academy graduate is currently the highest scoring Englishman in the Barclays Premier League following braces against Sunderland on the opening day of the season, and more recently in the 4-0 win over Burnley last Sunday.
Harrison and Ashworth, who initially joined Albion as an Academy coach in 2004 before eventually departing last year to take up the position as director of elite development at the Football Association, helped nurture Berahino’s talent from the moment he joined Albion’s youth set-up.
And - when asked, family aside, about the biggest influence on his career to date - the 21-year-old was quick to recognise the time, effort and attention to detail the pair have poured into his development as a player.
“Mark Harrison and Dan Ashworth have always helped me,” Berahino said.
“They have both guided me from a very young age.
“I didn’t really have anyone in my family who knew a lot about football that could guide me in certain ways they did.
“They have both been a massive influence on my career.
“They’ve helped through difficult times, and also when I have been enjoying good spells.
“They have always kept my feet on the ground.”
Another undoubtedly influential figure in the striker’s life has been his mother, who was in attendance to see her son’s brace bury Burnley last weekend.
“My mother was at the game on Sunday against Burnley,” Berahino said.
“It was the first time that she has come to watch me this season.
“She’s not the best when it comes to watching me play football, she gets very nervous.
“It was brilliant to get two goals in front of her.
“She has been there from day one and has always supported me.”
You can also watch Berahino discuss his latest England Under-21 call-up and his Three Lions aspirations in the video below.