After passing his driving test last week, things only got better for Billy Daniels against Bristol City...
When Billy Daniels signed a new two-year deal with Coventry City in the summer, manager Steven Pressley issued the young midfielder a challenge.
“Billy is a player we want to see challenge for a regular first team spot next season and continue to improve as a footballer.”
Yesterday, in City’s third game of the season, Daniels came into the side to replace the suspended captain Carl Baker, only days after passing his driving test.
However, just getting into the first team didn’t seem enough for Daniels who had the City boss jumping for joy after he scored two goals, including the winner just three minutes from time, in a man of the match performance as City ran out 5-4 winners against Bristol City.
The 18-year old progressed through the City ranks as a striker and glimpses of his forward-line prowess was shown when he headed home at the back-post in the first half. Except, he says he has never scored a header in his life.
Daniels said: “It was a good header. I don’t think I have ever scored a header in my life to be honest. It was one of them. I was a bit surprised by it myself.
“It was a really special moment for me, and a moment I’m sure I will always look back on. My first professional league goal is one of the aims I had this season and I’m so happy I have done it.
“To score the winner was an even better feeling. It was an incredible win so to know I got the winner is really special.
“Hopefully I can kick on from here and score more goals for the side, but also be part of winning side.”
The Bristol-born Academy graduate is one of several young players Pressley is giving a chance in the City first team, with five of the starting eleven against the Robins from the City Academy.
Following their relegation from the Championship, Bristol City have added to their squad over the summer with acquisitions like former Aston Villa striker Marlon Harewood and on-loan Burnley midfielder Marvin Elliott.
Having claimed a thrilling 5-4 victory over the Robins, Daniels believes the result proves ‘you don’t have to spend a load of money to get winning teams’.
He added: “I think playing with so many Academy players in the team does make it easier because you have grown up together and I have played with many of them for several years.
“We understand how we are going to play and we have all been coached into the same system growing up which helps us bring that into the first team.
“Bristol invested heavily over the summer but I think the result today proves you can bring players through.
“If you get the wins and gel as a side, you don’t need to spend loads of money to get a winning team. I think the way our manager wants us to play, pressing high up the pitch, it suits all the players and I think the performances show that.”