Men's Team

McAtee hails first team support after being awarded Premier League debut ball

James McAtee has highlighted his gratitude for the support and help afforded him by City’s first team squad in the wake of being presented with the match ball following his Premier League debut earlier this season.

The 19-year-old creative midfielder came on as a substitute during our 3-0 victory over Everton at the Etihad back in late November.

Goals from Raheem Sterling, a Rodrigo rocket and a late Bernardo Silva strike ensured that McAtee’s City league bow was a winning one.

And reflecting back on a day both he and his family will never forget, the Academy graduate revealed how the guidance and input of the senior City players had proved invaluable, ahead of his inaugural Premier League appearance.


“It meant everything. It is everything I have worked towards,” reflected McAtee, who signed a new long-term contract with City earlier this year.

“The lads were obviously in a good position when I came onto the pitch which gave me that extra bit of confidence to show the fans what I am capable of.

“Everyone knows the Premier League is the best and hardest competition in the world, so the day I made my debut was a proud day for me and family.

“The senior players have been brilliant with me and helped me settle with the group. They are always chatting to us and giving us little bits of advice to take away and try to implement into our own game.

“I have enjoyed every second being in and around the first team and already learnt so much which has helped improve my development.

“You are always picking up little things from them in training which you can try and implement in your game.


“The intensity they play and train at all of the time is incredible and that has definitely helped me too.

“The standards and intensity are so high and there is no room for mistakes, but that has only helped me as a player and will continue to.”

McAtee is just one of several players from our exciting Elite Development Squad to have both been afforded a first team debut this term and gained extensive experience by regularly training alongside Pep Guardiola’s first-team squad.

Having been at City for almost a decade, McAtee has been immersed in the playing philosophy of the Club having graduated through the various Academy age groups.

And he believes the lessons and learnings he has digested along the way have provided the perfect preparation for the unique demands of City’s first team.

“I think the experiences we have in the Academy throughout the different age groups helps prepare us massively for the next step of our careers,” McAtee added.


“Every age group plays the same style of football, so you always know your roles and responsibilities no matter where you are playing.

“Playing in different competitions such as PL2, the Papa John’s Trophy and the FA Youth Cup give you such different challenges and that certainly helps us develop as players too.

“The environment is perfect for us as young players.”