Premier League winning midfielder’s advice to Bristol City’s dream debutant

Preparing for your debut for can be hard but the newest Bristol City debutant had help from a legendary figure.

Dylan Kadji has revealed that he sought advice from Andy King before making his competitive debut for Bristol City.

Kadji represented the Robins for the first time as he featured in the 3-1 Carabao Cup win over Wycombe Wanderers, which earned their place in the next round.

The 18-year-old played in defensive midfield and had Premier League winning midfielder King and Han-Noah Massengo aside him.

It was a dream start for the youngster who has come through the academy, as he opened the scoring. He was on hand to turn home from close range after Kane Wilson directed the ball into the box from Kal Naismith’s corner.

His teammate King, who has played internationally for Wales at the European Championship and played at a high level, helped the teenager get through the match before he was substituted on the hour mark.

He has since revealed that a chat pre-match with the player-coach and one of Nigel Pearson’s trusted lieutenants was what he needed.

Speaking to Robins TV, he said: “I got told the day before match prep. I was just thinking about it all night and prepping myself, it paid off tonight.

“It was a bit nervy but luckily I’m around a great group of boys and good staff, they all just kept me calm and helped me out.

“I had a talk with Kingy (Andy) today actually in the changing room, just before he went out. He told you are only going to get one debut, it’s just one to remember. I made it one to remember by getting that goal.

“100%, him and Han is just a good balance of two different type of players in midfield to help me out.”

Wycombe provided stern opposition for Kadji who was making his first step into professional level football.

The Chairboys, mid-table in League One, got themselves back on level terms through Ali Al-Hamadi after Kadji’s opener, which prompted a few changes, which ended his debut just around the hour mark.

However it was an experience that he will look back fondly on when asked how buzzing he was, he said: “I was, what more can you ask for? I scored a goal on my debut and we have got the win as well, it’s great.

“We always knew it was going to be a hard game going into it because that is their type of play style. We knew we just had to show them what we can do as well.”

Kadji signed professional terms with the club in November of 2021 and has been with the club for a long period. The defensive midfielder joined the club as a 10-year-old, featuring in the Under-11’s side before making the gradual step-up to each age grade team.

A loan spell at sixth tier Bath City is the most exposure he has had at senior level, having played there for just over a month in January.

Having returned to Ashton Gate however he was seen at times with the match-day squad last season, although he was never included, but things could change.

With City’s academy again proving itself in being able to provide first-team ready youngsters, more opportunities could be sent their way to the likes of Kadji and others.

He said: “This is only the start of something great of what I could do if I carry on working hard and apply myself.

“There have been a lot of ups and downs but on the whole it’s been very good. I feel like I have proven myself throughout the years and I’m finally getting the chance which I feel like I deserve.

“I still have a lot more to learn in the game with my clearances, second balls and stuff. It’s another learning curve that I can take away from when I go back.”