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Dublin: 17 °C Thursday 13 August, 2020

Ryan Burke 'proud' after being handed Championship debut at 19

The left-back from Dublin featured in Birmingham City’s defeat to Stoke City on Sunday.

watford-u18s-v-birmingham-city-u18s-fa-youth-cup-third-round-maurice-rebak-stadium Ryan Burke of Birmingham City (file pic). Source: EMPICS Sport

IRISH YOUNGSTER RYAN Burke has expressed his pride at making his first-team debut for Birmingham City.

The 19-year-old left-back came off the bench in the 72nd minute of Sunday’s 2-0 defeat away to Stoke City in the Championship.

It marked a significant breakthrough for Burke, who has been on Birmingham’s books since joining the club from St Patrick’s Athletic in 2017.

“I can’t even put into words how it felt getting ready to come onto the pitch and stuff like that,” he told the Saints Academy podcast on his former club’s Patreon service. “It’s a weird feeling but it’s one that I’ve just looked forward to for so long. I’m just so happy that I got my opportunity.”

Burke had been an unused substitute in Birmingham City’s three previous outings in the Championship. He was also on the bench earlier this season for games against Portsmouth and Leicester City in the EFL Cup and FA Cup respectively.

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The Dubliner finally got a chance to make an impression on Sunday, having been summoned by Steve Spooner and Craig Gardner, who have taken temporary charge following the departure of previous manager Pep Clotet last week.

Burke hopes to feature again as Birmingham aim to ensure that they remain a Championship club for next season. With three games left to play – the first of which is tomorrow night’s home clash with Charlton Athletic – the Blues sit four points above the relegation zone.

“There was just loads of messages from family and friends, and even people you haven’t heard from in a while but would be still close to,” the Ireland U19 international said of the aftermath of his debut. “They’re just congratulating you and you just feel proud to make those people happy. It’s a great feeling to see people who are happy for you like that.

“As soon as I got off the bus and got back to the training ground, I rang my ma and da straightaway. They were just buzzing. To see them that happy and that proud, it makes me feel brilliant. Making your parents that happy and proud of you is something special. I hope I can keep doing that and just keep pushing on in my career.”

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Paul Dollery

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