A YOUNG footballer is on the cusp of breaking into the senior professional game after starring in Bristol City’s U21 cup run and then securing a place on the bench of the Robins 1st XI in the last two matches.

Callum Wood signed for the Ashton Gate Championship club at the end of 2020 while still at Monmouth Comprehensive School, and penned a new three-year contract last May.

The left back has most recently been playing on loan at Yate Town and starring in the age-group side, but this month made the step up to a place on the bench with the senior Robins team as Bristol beat Blackpool 2-0 at home before a 2-0 loss on Sunday at Swansea City.

He has trained with the 1st XI, but it wasn’t until the morning of the Blackpool game that the Wales Under-19 cap was told by boss Nigel Pearson that he would be involved, with the manager saying he wasn’t afraid to put the youngster on if needed.

As it stands, Callum is still waiting to get pitch time, but hopefully it won’t be long, and the experience of being in the match-day squad will do him a power of good.

He has also been a key part of the Robins’ U21s Premier League Cup campaign, which ended in penalty shootout quarter-final heartbreak at the hands of Premier outfit Nottingham Forest.

No one could break the deadlock in 120 minutes of action although City came closest.

Early on, Callum met a threatening cross and headed it back across goal, but no one could get on the end of it and the chance went begging.

The match ended 0-0 and after five perfect penalties each, and the shootout entering sudden death, the Forest keeper made a save and City then missed to leave the visitors the winners 6-5.

Callum first made the move to the Robins when he was spotted playing for Cinderford Town AFC after moving from Hereford FC.

Scouts from the Robins, Cheltenham Town and Forest Green checked him out as he launched his senior career at 16 with the Forest Southern League club.

And ultimately it was the Robins who secured the talented defender’s signature on a contract with their academy.