Midfielder Isaiah Dada-Mascoll says he was unbelievably ‘happy and excited’ as he took to the Joie Stadium pitch which saw him pick up his first minutes in blue since his injury in August 2023.

The 17-year-old was substituted on at the hour mark with City fighting to break the deadlock in our semi-final clash with Bristol City.

As soon as Dada-Mascoll took to the pitch, the intensity from City rose as he offered a calm and commanding presence to the centre of the pitch.

His fellow substitute Ashton Muir also proved to provide a gigantic helping hand in City’s route to the final with the winger converting Farid Alfa-Ruprecht’s cross nine minutes before the final whistle.

“It was amazing,” began Dada-Mascoll when reflecting on his return and the team’s performance.

“The feeling after obviously being out for a substantial amount of time, seven months as my last game was against Aston Villa at the end of August, so it was a great feeling and I was just excited, buzzing and raring to go when I got out there.

“To be honest I wasn’t nervous [making his return]. I was just happy and excited more than anything because I was confident in my ability and I was just looking forward to getting back on the grass.”

Dada-Mascoll has had seven gruelling months where he has had to dig deep in the tough moments during his recovery but also experienced lots of positives as he fought to get back to match fitness before the conclusion of the 2023/24 season.

And in doing so he not only played an important role in City’s win on Tuesday evening, but he’s looking forward to helping City complete the campaign with silverware when we face either Leeds United or Millwall in the final of the FA Youth Cup.

“There has been so many weeks where I’ve had to really knuckle down and focus,” Dada-Mascoll explained.

“It’s been difficult you know like my diet, my fitness, everything intertwines and links so being able to come back out on the pitch full fitness is great.

“It’s not been easy, there has been some days and some weeks that have been extremely difficult mentally and emotionally as well but it was all for this and it was a good moment for me so I’m happy.

“I’m so excited for the final! I’ve been part of the journey but I’ve come straight into the semi-final so I don’t quite think I’ve grasped that we are in a final yet but I’m honestly so excited. I’m excited to prepare for it and just do everything with recovery and training every day so that I can perform. I’m looking forward to it.”