Mens Team

Harwood-Bellis: First team support has been amazing

Harwood-Bellis: First team support has been amazing
Taylor Harwood-Bellis has revealed how the support and encouragement of City’s players played a vital role in aiding his smooth integration into our first team set-up.

Though a key part of the side which lifted the FA Youth Cup earlier this week, the 18-year-old central defender has also been a regular feature in City’s first team squad over the past 16 months.

After impressing on the 2019 Asia Tour, Harwood-Bellis went on to make his first team debut in the Carabao Cup in September of last year.

The Stockport-born teenager then scored his maiden City goal in our FA Cup win against Port Vale last January.

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And, speaking on Tuesday’s latest matchday edition of We’re Not Really Here, Harwood-Bellis paid tribute to the help and advice he has received saying it had helped him grow both as a player and an individual.

"I remember when I played my first-ever game in pre-season in China alongside Aymeric Laporte (on the 2019 Asia Tour),” Harwood-Bellis recalled.

“All through the game he was talking to me, helping me with where I needed to be, with my passing, how to be better and urging me to be crisp on the ball.

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"In training as well everyone, even Nico (Otamendi) who left in the summer, they were all helpful for me, always helping me to learn and they have improved my game massively.

“I also felt comfortable going in (to the first team environment). The players were very welcoming straight away. They all said hello and that means a lot to a young lad.

“At first it was a bit nerve-wracking going up and saying hello to the manager and players but now it feels natural.

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“When you get Kevin De Bruyne saying hello to you, it’s massive. They’re all proper nice guys and they help us younger lads out so much.

“Now that we’ve been with them for quite a period of time, I feel really comfortable and they’ve made me grow as a player and a person."

A powerful, commanding presence in the heart of defence and armed with an excellent passing game, Harwood-Bellis also revealed how he was urged to hold nothing back in training sessions by his senior colleagues.


                        MAGIC MOMENT: Taylor Harwood-Bellis celebrates his first senior City goal against Port Vale last season
MAGIC MOMENT: Taylor Harwood-Bellis celebrates his first senior City goal against Port Vale last season

And the diehard City fan also admitted how surreal it was to be playing and training alongside players he had supported from the terraces.

“On the training field at first you go in and be a bit quiet. But the first teamers want you to go up and nail someone!” Harwood-Bellis added.

“They like that… they want you to come in and be commanding and confident and to show that you’re not going to roll over.

“I have confidence in my ability, and I feel comfortable in the environment with the first team guys – they are some of the best players in the world and I’m learning from them all the time.

“From watching them on television, I never thought I would have been sat in a dressing room with them. It’s mad!”

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