Greg Cunningham has enjoyed the Blues’ pre-season more than most - and with good reason, too.
The 19-year-old left-back enjoyed a productive tour of the US and was included in the squad for this evening’s Ferrostaal Cup clash with Borussia Dortmund.
Now a fully-fledged Republic of Ireland international, Cunningham admits it’s hard to stop smiling at the moment.
“Yeah this is my first time in Dortmund and I’m really enjoying it,” he said after a training session at a sun-drenched Westfalenstadion.
“The pitch is lovely and it’s a great stadium – I hope there’s a decent crowd and a nice atmosphere for the game.
“I don’t know that much about Borussia Dortmund, but they are a Bundesliga side so they are obviously going to be difficult, especially in their own backyard.
“The US tour was great, especially for the younger lads because we all got a lot of game time. For me, Dedryck and Vladi to come out to Germany with the first team, too, is fantastic and a great experience.
You learn a lot just by being around the first-team and personally, it’s a great start to hopefully what will be a great season for us all
With Premier League clubs now forced to name 25-man squads for the upcoming season, players under the age of 21 are excluded from the ruling, which means there will be opportunities for the Cunningham and several other youngsters in the coming months.
“The new ruling on Under-21 players is good for a lot of the home-grown lads because obviously we’ve had a lot of new players come in, but it means we are still very much part of the squad.
“What we have to do, is work hard, keep our heads down and continue to plug away. Hopefully, our chances will come.”