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West Brom youngster Tom Fellows wants to stay on path to success

He made his league debut in Albion’s win over Reading.

And now pacy winger Tom Fellows is determined to keep learning as he bids to establish himself in the Baggies first-team long-term.

Born in Longbridge, on the outskirts of Birmingham, Fellows was first spotted by scouts from Albion – and also Birmingham – while playing for local side Kings Norton.

But he opted to join the Baggies after being impressed by the quality of their training sessions.

And since then he has gone through the academy ranks – with Fellows playing a key role for the Albion under-18 side that reached the semi-finals of the FA Youth Cup last season.

Now a player who regularly trains with the first-team, Fellows admits he initially found the step up to the senior side daunting.

But after players like Jake Livermore, Kyle Bartley, Matt Phillips and Dara O’Shea helped him in settle, he now feels comfortable and determined to fulfil his potential.

“I watch all the West Brom games now, whether I’m on the bench for them or not because that is where I want to get to,” the 18-year-old said.

“It was a difficult transition from the 23s to the first team, not just on the pitch but off it as well.

“I remember being really nervous when I went into the first team dressing room, got my locker and I felt that I hadn’t really done anything to be in there.

“But over time and the more you train, the more you feel comfortable and they were all really friendly when I came in.

“They’ve made me feel like one of the team and I never feel left out.

“Jake Livermore helps integrate all the young boys, Barts does, Phillips too and Dara who’s a bit younger than the rest, but also understands the process.”

Fellows says first-team football is very different to academy football.

“In the first-team you have to think five times quicker and I’d say seeing the game in that way has been one of the biggest things about making the step up,” the 18-year-old continued.

“As you get older you begin to develop more and obviously it can be disappointing when you’re in the squad but don’t get on – but I’m here to watch the first-team.

“I’m in a good seat and I’m able to hear what the gaffer is saying to the players and if I am to come on, I can use the information he’s given.”

While Fellows is a winger with a trick or two up his sleeve, Albion fans are unlikely to see the teenager show-boating.

“Football’s a simple game,” Fellows added.

“For me personally, pace is my biggest asset so I don’t need to do 1,000 step-overs or lots of flicks to beat my man.

“There’s always a time and a place for it, but if you’re direct and don’t slow the game down then it can be simple to use your speed to your advantage.

“I scored something like five goals in five games last season and that instilled belief that I can add goals to my game. I think wingers need to score goals.

“On the pitch, I like to think I’m confident and I back myself and my ability.

“But off it, occasionally I have doubts.

“Still, I think it’s good to have doubts because it makes you work even harder.

“If you think you are the best, then you’re not working to improve yourself.”

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