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Humble Taylor Gardner-Hickman soaking up advice from West Brom mentor Adam Reach

Albion’s Taylor Gardner-Hickman has revealed he’s gained a lot of advice from Adam Reach since breaking into the first team.

Taylor Gardner-Hickman (Photo by Adam Fradgley/West Bromwich Albion FC via Getty Images).
Taylor Gardner-Hickman (Photo by Adam Fradgley/West Bromwich Albion FC via Getty Images).

The 20-year-old academy graduate has made a big impression on fans after bursting into Valerien Ismael’s side this season.

Gardner-Hickman has now made eight appearances for the Baggies this term – with his performances rewarded last month with a new four-and-a-half-year deal.

And he’s revealed former Sheffield Wednesday man Reach has acted as something as a mentor as he adapts to life in the first team.

“Reachy has been a joy to have around the training ground since he’s come in,” Gardner-Hickman said. “He’s a senior pro with a lot more experience than me.

“And having someone who teaches you the ropes as well as giving his advice and opinions is something which is great to have and has really helped me.

“We’re always at the training ground playing darts together and he’s always telling me to stay level-headed and work hard.

“Reachy’s been great to have around and now it’s about having the same mindset and doing all I can do the team.”

Remaining level-headed doesn’t seem to be an issue for Telford-born Gardner-Hickman, who believes it’s only after making your debut that the hard work really begins.

“I’ve always done extras since I started out in the academy,” the Thomas Telford School pupil continued. “It’s all I’ve ever done.

“I’ve never been one to come in late and go home early, it’s always been come in early and go home late.

“That was to get myself ready for first-team football because it’s all I’ve ever dreamt about.

“All my family all support the Albion. The club means the world to us.

“Now I want to keep doing those extra bits to get myself achieving success with this club.

“You have to do the extra yards to feel ready and to prepare you for whatever situation may come your way.

“I’ve wanted this my whole life and it’s motivated me more to keep going.

“But that’s the hard part now – to keep going at this level.”

Gardner-Hickman revealed he was first spotted by Albion when playing for Staffordshire side Brewood aged just seven.

“Football started for me in Telford – I’m from a quiet little place called Priorslee,” the wing-back continued. “I obviously played my school football and then I played for my Sunday team, Brewood.

“That’s where I started and then I got picked up by West Brom when I was seven. Lots of scouts used to come and watch the games and tournaments and I remember them having a conversation with my mum, dad and me.

“That’s where it all began, I can remember it, I can’t remember every word but I remember the situation.”

Last month Gardner-Hickman was named Sky Bet’s man of the match following his performance in the televised game at Coventry.

The 20-year-old played in central midfield that day. And Gardner-Hickman admitted he was surprised to get the award.

“One of the Sky guys came up to me and asked if I was OK to do an interview because I’d been chosen as man of the match,” he said. “It took me aback to be honest and I was saying to him, ‘Me, are you sure you’ve got the right person?’

“I didn’t expect it at all because everyone had played class and I just thought I’d done my part.

“But I was delighted to receive the award and honoured to have been presented with it.”

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