Often Partisan

More Kids To the Fray

As the injury list at St Andrews grew further yesterday with Peter Lovenkrands picking up a calf strain in the warm-up, Birmingham City have acted to add more young talents to the first team squad.

Squad numbers have been given to James Fry and Reece Hales whilst Jake Jervis has been recalled from his loan at Portsmouth.

17-year-old James Fry played at centre-half in the recent FA Youth Cup win over West Bromwich Albion, skippering the side to a 3-1 victory and is rated highly by development squad coach Richard Beale.

Reece Hales is also 17 and plays as a striker. He also played in the FA Youth Cup win and has also played in the Development Squad in the PDL. He is a big and burly centre forward with a style reminiscent of Geoff Horsfield and I can affirm (having been stood next to them) that he impressed visiting scouts in his last game.

Jake Jervis has had spells on loan this season with Tranmere Rovers, Carlisle United and Portsmouth and has scored a combined five league goals in twelve league appearances for those three clubs. He made his debut in the FA Cup against Everton and has three appearances to his name in a Blues shirt although he has never played in the league for the team.

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24 Responses to “More Kids To the Fray”

  • Kaje says:

    For a long time now, questions have been asked of our youth set up – and this season we seem to be reaping the rewards.

    Yesterday, we had five Academy graduates starting the match – Butland, Packwood, Hancox, Reilly and Redmond – and all had good to very good games. They certainly impressed me at points throughout the match! Even Redmond, who gets a lot of undue stick from some sections!

    If Jervis, Fry and Hales can perform as well as the above then I think we could see the dawn of a new era at Blues where we aren’t forced to spend to strengthen and instead can look to a quality spread of young, homegrown talent.

    Every cloud has a silver lining, and for our current cloud of injuries the prospect of seeing some of our talented young guns in action is very much our silver lining.

    • chudlt says:

      Reaping the rewards? Just a few points. We are 19th in the championship, the manager was forced at the start of the season to bulk out the first team squad with youngsters. This was because of the lack of any investment from the £35 million raised from selling of players.
      The championship is not a place for seventeen year olds to be introduced into the pro game in large numbers. One or two games for one or two players during the season should be the norm. They will run on adrenalin for a few games and then be taught a sharp lesson by opposing pro’s . This will set them back no doubt a few years. Instead of reaping any rewards we could be jeopardising all the work that has been carried out by the academy.

  • Bluehobba says:

    Everybody including the players will be pleased with the performances of the youngsters yesterday and I bet the kids will be chomping at the bit for the boxing day fixture.

  • Gary R says:

    Almajir – I’m guessing Fry and Hales won’t be in the first-team squad for Xmas games (unless, God Forbid, we pick up further niggles)? From what I can see of the squad, we still have enough senior players available to have in the first eleven and subs bench. Robinson should be fit & apparently Caddis’ injury isn’t as bad as first thought and could be back for next home game (Cardiff). Any news on Spector/Ambrose, because they could make a big difference, having them at least available on a match day?

    • almajir says:


      The club said on twitter last night the only player definitely to come back on Boxing Day is Robinson.

      The club also don’t name just 18 players for a matchday squad – they named 20 for yesterday which dropped to 18 with the injury to Diop and then the illness to Robinson and because Lovenkrands then got injured in the warmup, it went down to 17 and they had to call in Josh Hawker from his seat in the tilton. My guess is that Fry, Hales and Jervis will travel with the eighteen from Saturday to ensure that we have a full squad with cover.

      I suspect we’ll hear either tomorrow or Christmas Day the score with respect to injuries.

  • truebluenose says:

    No Money, Kids, poor Manager and coaches=Relegation.
    Teams have been relegated from this division with 52 points, that is our current target on the first half of the season performance. Looking at the teams below us we have lost to 3 of them already. A defeat on Boxing day it unthinkable for what it will do for the morale.
    There was a post in the week about how good they all look in training, pathetic as that is easy. When the pressures on we need good professionals, not kids and an inept Manager. As for the take over this Palidini Bloke is a complete flake. Pay the price Pal or give up.

  • Bluenozee says:

    Cynics would suggest that some of these kids are being blooded as established senior pros will be on their way in January.
    That said, we need to name a squad for matchday and if kids are all you’ve got to chose from then you have no other choice.
    Triumph can often come from adversity

  • pipsy says:


    Let’s have some support, the Inept Manager as you so called is not on the pitch when a player makes a mistake he get’s all the flake, we cannot get rid of the Manager at present and I believe he is doing the best in the circumstances and II don’t think anyone else can come in at present and do a better job than Clark. The last 2 games at St Andrews we have been entertained to some good football although the results have not gone for us.

  • pipsy says:

    Never a truer word spoken Bluenozee

  • ChrisG says:

    Almajir.. Do you know what is going on with Fahey?, I know he’s on compassionate leave, i’m trying not to be too cold hearted here but surely he needs to sort himself & repay the club some of the faith that has been shown him & get his backside back to the club, we are very short of first team members (and money) & he’s back in ireland probably still picking up a fat wage packet. Mind you saying that if he came back he probably wouldn’t be match fit.

  • andy says:

    To be frank and with no disrespect to the youngsters, Blues are operating like a League one or two club at the moment and if no takeover is imminent, it is where Blues are going to end up.

    • Blueboy88 says:

      Exactly , & its not all about the selection issues yesterday , its about half a season of abject failure in a piss poor Championship , with a paltry return of 26pts from 23 games .

      The squad Clark inherited , plus his own signings should not be anywhere near the relegation zone.

  • RUPERT says:

    We had a good youth player called Jordan Mutch, I wonder what happened to him ? If ANY of these guys show promise its goodbye as soon as an offer comes in. Carson and Pannu well done.

  • Northern Exile says:

    I think we have to be optimistic about the young players coming into the side. It’s far from an ideal situation to find ourselves in, but what better way to get the crowd behind a struggling team than filling it with home-grown talent? At least they’ll be as hungry for results as we supporters are!

    If we look the short way across the city to the Villa – except for today’s hilarious result – a similar policy isn’t working out terribly for them at the highest level.

  • Ad says:

    Our objection since the start of this season was to stay in the division, except for our thickle bunch of fans every club has!!!

    taking all into consideration the dark cloud over the club I feel a ray of sun shine has hit us with our youth set up working for us instead of off loading them elsewhere to learn there trade. If we stay in the division utilising the squad/youth squad I feel we have had a good season.

    Clarke has made some useless signings but at least his man enough to realise his made some mistakes and his using our crop of youngsters whom are more passionate!!

    Look on the bright side blue noses we could be losing 8-0 to chelsea!!

    Keep right on!!!!

  • macca salop blue says:

    Fair play to the kids, considering the amount of kids that played they acquited themselves admirably with a purpose and desire , they certainly didn’t lack any confidence. Another positive is surely any wannabe young kid wanting to make a break is going to want to come to Blues due to the exposure we give young talent .

  • Paul Carter - The Festive Voice Of Reason he says:

    Can’t win can ya. When we were losing all the boo boys were saying play the kids.

    We play the kids stop losing and now that’s a problem too.

    Some of these people wanna get down the match instead of posting bullshit on here.

  • Paul Carter - The Festive Voice Of Reason he says:

    On a merrier note I’d just like to dedicate the following cracking little tune to all the filth:

  • skareggae72 says:

    8(eight) 0 enjoy Christmas :)

  • jazzzy786 says:

    Villa fans went home hungry. They eight nothing.

  • AL_LAD says:

    erm, LC didn’t have to play so many youngsters, he had Gomis, Burke, Ibanez on the bench, LC chooses the team/formation/tatics the buck stops with him. I’m all for blooding youngsters (if they are good enough) but 7 players under 19 shows me that the more experienced players don’t buy into LC’s philosophy.

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