Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Another Baggie at Edgar Street

Kyle Patterson made his debut for Hereford United last night. Below Simon Wright reveals more about the young Baggies striker.

My first memory of Kyle Patterson stems from Old Trafford back in August 2002 when, if memory serves me right, he made his reserve team debut up front, at the age of 16. He was quick but otherwise understandably struggled with the occasion. Albion lost 1-0. This was my second visit to OT in four days as a quirk of the fixtures sent both our first and second teams to Salford in August. Our visit was to be the only second team fixture that was played at the Theatre of Dreams so Kyle dropped lucky.

Since then, he's struggled to get regular football, partly because other strikers like Super Bobby Taylor, Scott Dobie, Danny Carey-Bertram and others needed match fitness too and Kyle often got squeezed out. But each game meant a little more experience and a little more strength.

This season, Patters has seen more reserve action, featuring on the bench or as a starter in virtually every game since November. Unfortunately, he's not scoring against professionals and that's a worry. Finding the net in the Youth Alliance isn't a problem at all but then again, this League from Albion's perspective, is so weak. No disrespect at all but Albion's kids should not be playing Hereford's kids in a Youth League. It only happens because the Baggies are still without an academy. Kyle has 12 League goals to his name, with four of those against the Bulls.

Kyle is very quick, even against seasoned pros. His body strength is excellent and in best Tucka traditions, he's comfortable in possession. He performed particularly well against Villa (sadly the best side in the League) in the back end of 2004.

That he's played for the Bulls could be the first sign that he doesn't have a long-term Albion future. I'm using intelligent guesswork that his three year apprenticeship may be up in the summer. I may be wrong of course. Tucka will remember young Kyle. With Tucka Trewick being a former team mate of Bryan Robson and both of them hailing from the North-East, I'm sure that Robbo is perfectly willing to help out where required. Still, it's significant that two of Kyle's team mates have been chosen to train with the first team but not him.

On a personal note, the more young Baggies playing at Edgar Street the better. But isn't it curious that despite both Turner and Trewick being well connected with the Dingles, that young Wolves starlets don't make the switch.