Man City youngster praised after ‘surprise’ international debut
Manchester City youngster Shea Charles earned praise from his manager after ‘unexpectedly’ coming on for the final 11 minutes of Northern Ireland’s defeat to Greece.
Charles, 18, captained City’s Under-23s to their second successive Premier League 2 title this season and took to the Etihad on the final day of the season to lift the trophy alongside Fernandinho and other major club successes for the year. Northern Ireland coach Ian Barraclough took in reports from Pep Guardiola and other staff at the club about how Charles had progressed before deciding to call the defensive midfielder up to the senior squad for the first time.
As they chased their UEFA Nations League game against Greece, Charles was given his first taste of international action. While it wasn’t enough to turn the match around, the coach was impressed with what he saw.
“I don’t want to heap massive pressure on the young kid. He’s been in the under-21s once. He probably wasn’t expecting to get his debut when we’re chasing the game,” said Barraclough.
“He didn’t look flustered, he didn’t look hurried in his decision-making. He’s smooth, a lovely player on the ball.”
The teenager may not have thought he would get off the bench but was happy to make his first appearance as he looks to kick on from a successful year for club and country.
“I didn’t expect to be playing in this game but obviously I’ll take every opportunity that comes,” said Charles. “It’s a great feeling to make my debut – obviously the loss was a low, but on a personal level it was a big high for me making my debut.”