16-year-old Stockport-born midfielder Phil Foden was only metres away from the pitch during last Tuesday’s Champions League tie with Celtic.
Foden was a surprise name on the substitutes' bench for City’s final match in Group C and although he didn’t make it on to the pitch, warming up in front of the Etihad Stadium crowd was an experience he relished.
He said: “It was a great experience and I have to thank Pep Guardiola for that. Not many coaches would give an opportunity like that and getting to know the players and how they work is something that will really help me.
“City fans like to see youth players coming through so being clapped as I went out felt really good.
“It was exciting to know that I could have had the record as City’s youngest ever Champions League player and although I was gutted I didn’t get on, I hope I will get the chance again.”
A central midfielder with a keen eye for goal, Foden has been a star of the incredible start to the season for Lee Carsley’s U18 side.
The youngster has found the back of the net in crucial matches against the likes of Manchester United, Liverpool and Middlesbrough for the free-scoring table toppers but he isn’t done there.
“My coaches have told me to keep working hard and doing what I am doing because that is the reason I got the chance so it should lead to more chances in the future.
“I’m really enjoying my football and I’m fully focused on helping the under-18’s now. I know Pep is watching our games so I hope I’m doing well and impressing him with my football.
“I like to arrive late into the box and that has helped me create a lot of space in opposition defences. We’ve got so many players in the team that can play a pass it makes it easier to score goals.”
Commended not only for his ability on the pitch, coaching staff at the club believe Foden is a perfect example of how academy players should conduct themselves.
“I work hard and stay professional at all times. I give a 100% in everything we are asked to do because I know that is how I will play my best football week in week out.
“This is a really big club and we all have a great chance to be part of something important if we can make it to the first team so we have to keep improving every day.”
Foden and his teammates face Reading in the FA Youth Cup on 15 December and you can follow on the official Twitter account @ManCityAcademy.