BRAINY BRYAN IS LEAPING TO GLORY
FOOTBALLERS have a, perhaps unfair, reputation for not always being the sharpest knives in the drawer – but a lack of brains is one accusation you certainly cannot throw at Bristol City’s Joe Bryan.
Privately educated at Queen Elizabeth’s Hospital School in Bristol, Bryan picked up nine GCSEs – three A*s, five As and a B.
His father, Alan, is a heart surgeon at the Bristol Royal Infirmary, and the 21-year-old certainly had the intelligence to follow a similar route.
But fortunately for City, the left wing-back was also a prodigiously talented footballer and chose to pursue sport as opposed to academia.
With over 40 appearances this term, and a Football League Young Player of the Month award for February in his trophy cabinet, that decision appears to have been vindicated. But Bryan admits there was another reason he did not tread the same path as his father.
“I’m not very good with blood, which is probably the biggest problem,” he explained.“I could have gone down the A-level route, gone to university and come out of it not able to find a job.
“But when I was 14, I thought: ‘I’m going to be a footballer now’.”
Bryan is not the only member of his family to show sporting prowess – sister Lucy is a British pole-vaulter on track to appear at the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
The family are also proud Bristolians and Bryan is currently the only local boy and academy product in City’s first team.
Rather poetically, the youngster scored his first professional goal against bitter rivals Bristol Rovers back in September 2013 and he acknowledges that repre- senting his boyhood club makes any success all the more special.
“It makes me feel proud,” he said.“Whenever I play football I want to do as well as I can, but when it’s your hometown club, you know friends and family are going to keep an eye on it.
“Because the team is playing well, it means I can play well. We’re all shining at the moment.
“The big dream is to play in the top level with Bristol City. So I’ll just keep running around and kicking people like I’m told to and that will come!”
LIFE OF BRYAN: Joe Bryan in action for Bristol City and, inset, his sister Lucy