Fresh from his sparkling performance in our EFL Trophy victory over Manchester City EDS on Tuesday evening, Hayden Pickard couldn’t hide his delight at registering an assist on his first Reds start.
The talented wing-back, who was integral as our U18s were crowned Professional Development League champions last season, put in a tremendous display against some of the best players in his age group.
“I’m absolutely buzzing to get my first assist with my first start,” he beamed. “I thought we all played brilliantly, we defended extremely well and I’m absolutely buzzing to get three points.
“I thought I did really well playing against – at our age – probably the best players in the country. So, to get the win – we had a young side out in the second half – was a good night all around.”
His assist topped off what was a fine evening for our 20/21 Academy Player of the Year as he delivered an inviting cross for Jon Russell to crash home our second of the tie.
The 18-year-old was a thorn in City’s side all night with his measured passing as well as retaining possession with confidence to help sustain our attacks.
“I don’t mind taking a few set-pieces, thankfully Jon was there to head it home off the bar, and hopefully there’s many more to come,” he discussed.
“I’ve just got to keep level headed. If I get another opportunity, I’ve got to make sure I’m ready and I can take it, but if I don’t then I’ve got to remain level headed and see where I can go.”
Watch Hayden’s interview in full on iFollow Barnsley.