BRAINY BRYAN IS LEAP­ING TO GLORY

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Luke Baker

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.

Proud

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

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