Matty Timms at St. Andrew's after signing first pro deal
Blues fans have watched and admired many wholehearted, tough-tackling left-backs over the years – Matty Timms is aiming to be the next.
The 18-year-old defender recently signed his first professional contract, taking another step on a long road that began for him way back in 2006.
“It’s such an incredible journey to go on. I’ve been on it for 11 years and hopefully there are at least another 11 years to go,” says Timms.
“It’ll be down to hard work, dedication and commitment – and I’m full of all of that! So hopefully I’ll just carry it on and it will progress into a future at Birmingham City Football Club.”
He adds: “I’m absolutely delighted to have finally signed a professional contract with the Club.
“I’ve just taken it year by year, got my head down and worked hard and looked to progress myself as a footballer. Now I’m getting closer to fulfilling my ultimate ambition.
“I want to play at St. Andrew’s in the First Team, that’s a big dream of mine, and hopefully play in the Premier League with them one day.”
Timms is very pleased to be accompanied in making the move up to the professional ranks by Academy team-mates Ollie Mulders and Charlie Lakin – the trio all put pen to paper on the same day at St. Andrew’s earlier this month.
“It’s great to be signing with these other two lads,” he adds. “They’re good friends and we’ve been on this journey together.
“We have great chemistry, on and off the pitch, and it just makes this feeling that much better.”
Timms clocked up 25 appearances for Blues Under-18s during his first year as a scholar and followed that up by missing just three of the 30 competitive fixtures at Academy level last term.
His 27 outings put him top of the appearance-makers chart in 2016/17 and the defender’s consistently high level of performances earned him a promotion to the Under-23s ranks before the campaign’s end.
“I was able to knuckle down, playing week in and week out, and it helped me to get a good run of form going,” he says.
“I think that’s helped to me develop and adapt so quickly when going up into the Under-23s.”
When asked about his main strengths as a player, the left-back says: “I’m a tenacious one-v-one defender that loves a tackle and looks to get involved in forward play a lot.
“I’d say I’ve got a good delivery in the final third and can chip in with a few assists for goals.”
Timms made six appearances for the Under-23s during the closing weeks of the season and didn’t look out of place at all, despite the higher standard of football at that level.
“The games are so much quicker, you need to have quicker decision-making, be quicker on the ball and you’ve got to be that bit more alert,” he says.
“But I feel that I’ve adapted well to it and I’ll look to continue that next season.”
Timms picks out the Club’s Lead Professional Development Coach as a major influence during his time as a scholar.
“In the last two years of my development, the Under-18s Coach, Steve Spooner, has helped me a lot with problems, on and off the pitch,” he admits.
“He’s been a really good person to go to, to help me improve as a person as well as a footballer.”
But Spooner doesn’t make the number one spot in the leading figures to aid his progress from primary school hopeful to professional footballer.
That accolade goes to his father, who regularly made the one-and-a-half hour return journey from Banbury in Oxfordshire to ferry his son backwards and forwards to training and games.
“My mum has always been there for me, but I’d have to say that my dad has been the main source of inspiration for me,” says the young defender, who was a pupil at Warriner School in Bloxham.
“He’d bring me up to Birmingham four or five times a week. He’d watch me train. If I had a bad session then he’d have a go at me on the way back!
“But my dad was always there – and he still is now. He’s a top man!”