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Proud Bell makes City bow

A proud Sam Bell made his City debut on Saturday and revealed why he chose squad number 33.

The 18-year-old came on for the last 10 minutes as the Robins chased an equaliser following Harlee Dean’s headed corner that put the Blues in front.

Ultimately it wasn’t the Robins' day but on a personal note, it was a milestone moment for Bell and his family, with dad and fan favourite Mickey joining the matchday ball squad at Ashton Gate.

After a week that saw the forward and fellow Bristol City Academy products Sam Pearson and Zac Smith train with the first team, Bell was delighted to make his Robins bow.

Number 33

Bell wore the number 33 shirt, a nod to Mickey who wore the number three shirt during his City playing days.

And he told Robins TV: “I found out yesterday (Friday) that I would be in the squad. Paul Simpson told me after training that I would be involved in the squad and I’ve been looking forward to it.

“We got a choice of three numbers after training and when Scotty said 33 I thought it was a good little follow-on from my dad playing here."

“It shows that there is a pathway into the first team from the Academy and obviously you’ve got the more senior players who have come through the Academy like Zak Vyner, Max O’Leary and Tyreeq Bakinson who help you integrate into the squad.

“My dad was sat in the Atyeo Stand as part of the ball squad and I’m glad to have had him here to see me make my debut," he said.

Mixed emotions

“I’m delighted to have made my debut but disappointed that we have come away with a loss and we’ll have to get back in on Monday and go again,” continued Bell.

“Birmingham are a big, physical, well-organised side so we knew we were going to have to be quite patient with a few chances. They have come away with a goal from a set-piece which we are disappointed with."

Reflecting on Bell's debut, Head Coach Dean Holden said: “It’s a great moment for him and his family, with his dad playing for the club previously. He’s trained with us along with some of the Under-23s and he’s impressed us. He’s been very, very good with his finishing so we thought if he got that chance you never know. We’ve seen it before in football, but it wasn’t to be. He’s shown a great moment and he can be proud.

“He works tirelessly, he puts everything into his performance and as a goalscorer he has an incredible record through the youth levels.”

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