Bristol City strikers diet change which has made him Championship’s best young player

The 20-year-old has taken on more foods to help him grow his game at Bristol City
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Tommy Conway has credited a new diet as the recipe to his new found form with Bristol City as he gets to grips with senior level football.

The 20-year-old is one of the Robins' stories of the season after a terrific breakthrough season. Conway played six times in all competitions last season but was mainly a substitute and failed to register a goal.

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A year older and with a body that is still growing, the Taunton-born forward's hunger to succeed has seen him become one of the most important players in the team. He has been involved in every Championship match this season, starting 13 matches and has also come off the bench five times. His extended playing role has seen him come up with six league goals, which has him as the top scorer in all competitions.

A dip in form saw him go nine games without a goal and that saw him drop to the substitutes bench for several matches. Nigel Pearson, who has been partial to giving opportunities to younger players, has been praised for how he has dealt with the management of the striker.

"I’m not one to get ahead of myself and the gaffer has been honest with me," said Conway after he scored for the first time since the 3-2 defeat to Norwich City in September. The physical side is because my game is setting the intensity for a long time. It’s my first year breaking into first-team football and to do that Saturday-Tuesday with the amount of games we have had has been quite tough for me.

"I’ve been trying things off the pitch. I’ve been trying to eat more and trying to maintain that. I’m still 20 and that will catch up with me. I’m not one to be annoyed with myself for why I’m not playing well, I know I’m going to have a dip in form, the gaffer has always been there and put his arm around me. He said I’m going to take you out this week but put in you at some point. It’s always given me that confidence.

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For a player that found first-team opportunities hard to come by, he has taken on the advice of the club which has been to eat more to help improve his physicality, which is a key attribute in being successful in English second tier. Living with fellow starlet Alex Scott, Conway has began to take on more foods which has transferred into more energy out on to the pitch.

"It was the advice given by the club to try and cope with the amount of training and games," stated Conway in the debriefing of the 1-1 draw with Swansea City after finding the target. "Especially with us young lads our bodies still haven’t fully developed and our bodies are still growing muscle.

"There’s still a little bit of growth there as well. They’ve stressed the importance of eating the right amount of carbs and proteins to try and stay on top of our game.

He added: "There are not necessarily different things but there’s more rice, pasta, chicken, and proteins and carbs to maintain muscle repair after games. To maintain energy when we’re running low on the pitch. It’s trying to maintain high levels of all level things so we’re best off the pitch. I feel 100% much better than I was when I wasn’t eating as much as I was, it’s helped."

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Conway took his goal against Swansea well and finished with aplomb after being played through by Nahki Wells. Conway played regularly with Wells last season with the Bermuda international dropping down to the Under-21's when he found game time hard to come by.

The Scotland Under-21 international has continuously put praise on to Wells who has helped develop his game which has come on leaps and bounds. Wells, 30, is a striker that has done it consistently for City, as well as clubs like Bradford City, Huddersfield Town and Queens Park Rangers. Conway, a learner of the game, has taken on a key piece of advice that has stayed with him since his emergence in the first-team, which he still acts on now.

He said: "I’m really close with Nahki and so he was buzzing when I scored. For him to get the assist is always nice. The amount of goals he has scored in his career speaks for itself. Being in the right place at the right time. He knows I’ve got a sense of where the ball is going to drop. He said 'don’t ever let your mind come away from that, 'trust your instincts and you will always score goals'. It’s the biggest thing he has said to me. I don’t think he has a bad bone in his body."

Tommy Conway has dealt well with the step-up from the Under-21’s to the first-team.  Tommy Conway has dealt well with the step-up from the Under-21’s to the first-team.
Tommy Conway has dealt well with the step-up from the Under-21’s to the first-team.

In August, the month in which he ended his teenage years, Conway had a stellar month and was crowned as the EFL’s Young Player, beating off fierce competition. Conway had a run of four consecutive games with a goal, starting with a brace against Coventry City in the Carabao Cup which gave him his starting opportunity in the side.

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“He took his opportunity with a goal against Luton Town and in the same week scored a goal that clinched a Severnside Derby win over bitter rivals Cardiff City. Conway closed out the month with a strike on a Bank Holiday against Blackpool which saw the 23 other teams in the division stand up and take notice.

Further goals against Blackburn and Norwich came, but a dry patch saw the hype die down slightly, but he is pleased to be back amongst the goals trail now and believes that the play-offs are within sight.

“It’s been a couple of weeks but I see myself as a goal scorer,” he said. “I see myself helping the team other than scoring goals by setting the press and setting the intensity which I thought everyone did well, especially against Swansea where they like to play. To score again is a great feeling and especially against Swansea, it’s nice to score against them.

“We know if we’ve won we’re straight back up there. Our mentality isn’t gonna be down there it’s going to be pushing for the playoffs. Ultimately that’s where we want to be, we know what we have to do to be there and it’s about doing it on the pitch. It starts with getting our recovery right and getting ready to go again Tuesday.”

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