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Bristol City legend Brian Tinnion on what makes Alex Scott such a talent and his future in BS3


Brian Tinnion believes Alex Scott is one of the top young talents in England but the playmaker’s new four-year contract at Ashton Gate is confirmation of his happiness at Bristol City following a rapid rise from under-18 to first-team football.

Scott has started all four of City’s Championship fixtures this term and his 18th birthday on Saturday coincided with confirmation that the Guernsey-born midfielder has signed a new four-year contract.

The significance of that shouldn’t be understated given Scott had only penned his first professional deal in March. It emphasises his rapid progress under Nigel Pearson but also City’s faith and excitement in his talent and potential ceiling, plus Scott’s own comfort at the club.

Speaking to the Guernsey Press Sport Podcast, Tinnion admits the secret is very much out on the teenager but the ease at which contract negotiations were concluded, coupled with his new status as a first-team player mean City is where his development will be best served.

“There will be lots of people watching Alex at the moment because he’s, as I believe, one of the top young talents in the country,” the Robins Player Pathway Manager said.

“Myself and (City CEO) Richard Gould met up with his agent about 2-3 weeks ago and to be honest it’s been pretty straightforward; Alex wants to be here, his family are really, really happy with his progress.

“The agent was really happy because we’ve had a 17-year-old starting every Championship game this season. Now he’s 18, they trust us with what we’re doing with him.

“They think this is the best place for Alex to continue to his development so getting the contract done was pretty straightforward.”

Tinnion was instrumental in bringing Scott over for a trial in 2019, due to his strong relationship with Guernsey coach Tony Vance.

The then 16-year-old scored a hat-trick – header, left foot and right foot – to help earn a place in the academy, progressing from under-18s to under-23s and then into the first-team under Pearson for the final three matches of last season.

After a promising pre-season, Scott has then been selected in the starting XI for matches against Blackpool, Middlesbrough, Reading and Swansea – each representing different challenges but at no stage as Scott not looked a Championship player.

Alex Scott salutes the Lansdown Stand as he is substituted (Rogan/JMP)

Part of that is down to his obvious talent and technique with the ball at his feet but what impresses Tinnion the most, and is continually emphasised is his understated personality and the dedication he shows to his craft.

“He’s come in and his work rate, his desire to work and to listen and learn has been unbelievable,” Tinnion added.

“He played well for the under-18s when he came in, we had him in the 23s pretty early then he went up and trained with the first team and really never came back. So it’s all down to his hard work and desire and he’s a talented boy, with the right attitude.

“He can go off both feet, he can head it, tackle, his delivery at set-pieces is very good. His overall quality is very good in all aspects and he’s still learning and getting better so we’re really excited about the future.

“He’s had a really positive start to the season. To start every Championship game at 17 is excellent. He wants to learn every day on the training pitch.

“An important part as well is that the first-team have taken to him, knowing he has the quality to play with them at that standard.

“He’s been taken in very well and a lot of the senior players have looked after him. He’s got every attribute you’d want from a professional footballer and he’s only going to get better.

“I don’t think there’s any edge to Alex whatsoever; very down to earth, doesn’t say a lot just gets on with it and his football does the talking.”

Scott’s progress throughout 2021 has also included a first call-up to the England Under-18 squad as he made his debut in England’s 2-0 friendly win over Wales, in a squad that also featured Manchester City’s Liam Delap, Shola Shoretire of Manchester United and Aston Villa’s Louie Barry.

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Of the 21 players used by Kevin Betsy that day, Scott was one of only two representatives from a non top-flight club at the time, and with the international break on the horizon, Tinnion is expecting the 18-year-old to become a fixture in international youth football.

“I’m sure he’ll be involved in more England camps and England squads. He showed the first time he went how good a player he is, he didn’t look out of place among a lot of boys from the top clubs in the country,” Tinnion said.

“I was lucky enough to be at the Wales vs England game earlier this year when Alex came on and was very, very good. He’s made great strides and everybody here is so proud.

“Gary Probert is in constant contact with his mum, who’s absolutely over the moon, and I’m constantly speaking to his dad.

“We know the family are really proud of the progress that he’s made and he deserves everything he gets because he’s a down-to-earth, smashing lad who wants to work. If we asked him tomorrow to play in the 18s, he’d just get on with it and be just the same; he’s that sort of lad.”

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