For the first time, brothers Jaden and Reigan Heskey started for the City academy at under-19 level, with 15-year-old Reigan making his first appearance at any level above under-18s. With dad Emile watching at the Joie Stadium, Reigan made it a debut to remember against Young Boys in the Youth League on Tuesday.
When Reigan won an early penalty, he stepped up to coolly finish into the bottom corner. Emile was recording the spot kick on his phone, and Jaden was first to congratulate his younger brother.
Jaden is relatively new to this level himself, even if he was the more experienced sibling on Tuesday. The 17-year-old has stepped up this season and has five goals and an assist from his 11 appearances across the under-18 Premier League, Youth League, Premier League 2 and EFL Trophy.
The striker plays in the same position as his father did for some of England&aposs biggest clubs and the national team, but has a smaller build and uses his pace more. His goals this season have come from being in the right place at the right time, taking that goalscorer&aposs instinct from his dad at least.
Reigan wore the number 11 for City and recovered after a couple of nervous touches to get on the ball and win the eighth-minute penalty. Young Boys, and their significant number of vocal fans watching on, were furious, but Reigan ignored the jeers to score his first for the youth team within ten minutes of his debut.
The second also came from Reigan&aposs work on the left, winning another free kick right on the edge of the penalty area where it meets the byline. As Mahamadou Susoho set up to cross, instead he went low and sent a low shot into the back of the net from the tightest of angles.
Reigan can take some credit for the third, too, all before half-time. After Josh Adam burst forward, Tom Galvez played a smart one-two with the younger Heskey sibling to race into the area. The cross to the back post was met by Matthew Henderson-Hall, and City had three before half-time – Reigan involved in each one.
He would be replaced at half-time after going down with cramp towards the end of the first half – maybe understandable after an all-action 45 minutes at a higher intensity that he would be used to. And City would see the game out professionally, silencing the away fans who had threatened to make the atmosphere more into an away game for these youngsters.
With this win, City can start planning what their knockout route will look like. With Red Star hosting Leipzig later on Tuesday, City will be confirmed in the next round if the Serbians lose. A draw would see them needing a point in their final two games.
Topping the group will be key to avoid an extra play-off round before the last-16, but simply qualifying is a creditable achievement given the extremely youthful nature of this year&aposs youth team. Coach Brian Barry-Murphy put the under-21&aposs early exit from the EFL Trophy this week down to the summer loss of key players and the lower average age of this year&aposs squad, but they have made good progress in Europe against players their own age.
With Reigan Heskey impressing at just 15-years-old, and City putting one foot in the new year stage of the Youth League, the future is bright. And two Heskeys could have a big part to play if they continue their upward trajectory.
The transfer window has been a hectic one and City have been busy, with high-profile signings and sales aplenty.
City snapped up Croatian pair Mateo Kovacic and Josko Gvardiol from Chelsea and RB Leipzig respectively with the latest addition being Jeremy Doku. Wolves&apos Matheus Nunes then joined the Blues on deadline day. In terms of outgoings, Treble winner Ilkay Gundogan departed for Barcelona, Aymeric Laporte and Riyad Mahrez moved to Saudi Arabia, and Cole Palmer completed a shock move to Chelsea.
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