Redmond revels in Euro show
Nathan Redmond is on cloud nine following his man-of-the-match performance in the Uefa Europa League.
Last Updated: 26/08/11 5:15pm
Nathan Redmond is on cloud nine following his man-of-the-match performance against Nacional in the Europa League.
The 17-year-old winger put in a scintillating performance on what was his full home debut for the Blues and only his sixth appearance in total, and he broke the deadlock after 15 minutes in a 3-0 win.
It was not a bad way to open his account for the club he used to watch as a child and the youngster could have doubled his tally had he not seen his late curling effort come back off the far post.
"It was the kind of performance I've dreamt about for Blues," said Redmond, after the play-off second leg victory.
"Especially at home in front of a sell-out crowd. I remember last year when I was dipping in and out of the squad, Craig Gardner scoring against West Ham (in the Carling Cup semi-final) and we had the quarter-final against Aston Villa.
"I was just thinking 'I've got to be doing this one day'."
Redmond can now look forward to more European action after Birmingham were drawn with Braga, Club Brugge and Maribor in Group H of the Europa League.
He added: "It means a lot for me, it means a lot for my mum and my family, just to know I've done them proud.
"And being here since I was eight years old hasn't really gone to waste, and I don't plan to waste it at all. I'm thankful that I'm fortunate to be here.
"It's a really good experience for me. There aren't many 17-year-old kids from Birmingham who can say they're playing in a first team for a local club in Europe."
Redmond's first-team debut came almost a year ago as a late substitute in the club's Carling Cup second-round victory over Rochdale, becoming Birmingham's second youngest ever player at 16 years and 173 days.
At just 34 days older than the legendary Trevor Francis when he made his bow for the club, Redmond admits he is aware of the comparisons.
"Everyone keeps trying to compare me to him but I'm just trying to do my own thing and trying and get the best out of myself and trying and get the best for the club," he admitted.
"How I can do that is only up to me and the chances I get."
Manager Chris Hughton was also full of praise for Redmond after his impressive display against Portuguese side Nacional.
"You don't know how good he can be," said Hughton.
"He's a young man with a lot of potential and can play on either flank. Certainly these performances won't do him any harm.
"It's very early days. He's very much on a high but we will have some lows and it's up to us to manage him. He's a young man with a lot of potential."