Falling Back in Love with Bristol City

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After falling out of love with City last season, the excitement is slowly returning for Bristol City super-fan and podcaster Stanley Hughes.

Bristol City fans ahead of the game at Ashton Gate.

I must admit that until our game against Blackpool kicked off, I had very little interest in this season. When the curtain came down on the 20/21 campaign I switched off the part of my brain that pays attention to Bristol City. Having to record a podcast after every game usually takes a bit of a toll on me. Imagine doing it after watching your team only muster up a single shot on target… numerous times…

Over the course of that opening match against Blackpool, I began to remember what being a football fan was like before the pandemic. The walk to the stadium replaced the booting up of the computer, the concourse buzz replaced the checking of twitter and the suggestion of a pre-match pint replaced the polite request to boil the kettle. Suddenly I was awash with excitement, as was everyone else at Ashton Gate.

Football Fever at Ashton Gate

In all honesty everything excited me once the game had got underway. The half-time pie would normally be something I would buy out of desperation, a failure to plan ahead. Obviously football fever had gripped me, cause even that was exciting! Queueing for Cider in the concourse, what a novelty! Everything the match day experience has thrown at me since then I have loved. I even decided to fly up to Newcastle and stay there for four days to catch us play Middlesbrough. The game and result was almost forgotten as soon as Saturday night arrived on Tyneside.

That’s the off-field stuff though, nothing to do with the football itself. It’s all well and good getting excited by pies, pints and planes to Newcastle. Can the football be just as enjoyable? It is certainly too early to tell but the signs are promising thus far. Despite losing against Swansea last week there was an overwhelming sense of positivity amongst fans both in the stadium and on social media. 

Exciting Young Talent

One player who is certainly a big factor in that positivity is Alex Scott. His rise through the Bristol City ranks has been nothing short of ridiculous. Scoring a perfect hat-trick on his trial match was a good start, he’s not looked back since. He’s yet to complete 90 minutes for the first team, understandable for someone not fully used to the Championship. Whenever he goes off though he gets plaudits from fans, both online and in the stadium. 

He has started every one of our games and you’d imagine he’ll start vs Cardiff. He hasn’t been thrown into the first team out of necessity, he isn’t a placeholder for an injured senior pro. Scott is in that starting eleven because he is playing well enough to keep his place. He’s showing an insane amount of maturity on and off the field for such a young man. He seems grounded his interviews, even after signing a new four year deal. 

Brian Tinnion recently told Guernsey Press that “his desire to work, listen and learn has been unbelievable”. Tinnion is not one for hyperbole, so when he says “he’s one of the top young talents in the country”, you know he means it. If you asked a stranger to point out the 17 year old on the pitch, they would struggle to guess it was Scott. He can run as fast, jump as high and work as hard as the rest of his teammates. His technical and physical attributes hold up in a league that is arguably the most unforgiving in Europe. There is a debate as to which position he should be playing in. Right now it’s clear he should be in the team, wherever that may be. 

It’s likely that Alex Scott is going to become a great player, whether it is here or somewhere else. If his first goal for the club is against Cardiff this weekend, it’ll be fitting for a player who has started brilliantly and has the sky as their limit.

I will be writing a weekly blog for MansionBet this season, as well as covering City for ‘One Stream in Bristol’ the fan-podcast I run. Check us out for more analysis and discussion of Bristol City’s season!

Stanley Hughes is the host of the popular ‘One Stream In Bristol’, the original fan-produced Bristol City FC podcast. Stanley shares his thoughts on The Robins every week exclusively with MansionBet.

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