Odin Bailey - A pro contract is just the first step

But the 16-year-old attacker knows there is plenty more he has to do if he is to achieve his dream of playing first team football.

The talented Northfield youngster penned a pre-contract deal yesterday, which will take effect when he turns 17 on 8 December 2016 and run until 30 June 2019.

"I'm happy that my hard work has paid off and I'm looking forward to the future with Birmingham City," said the England under-15 international.

"Ever since I've been little I've enjoyed playing, and Birmingham City is a club that lets players be themselves and I just love it here.

"My long-term goal now is to get into the first team as young as I possibly can."

Having been with Blues since the age of seven, Bailey is well aware of what lies ahead and cites the success of players such as Demarai Gray and Nathan Redmond as examples for him to try and follow.

"Players like Demarai Gray and Nathan Redmond are two people that I look up to and I want to follow in their footsteps," continued Bailey.

"The gaffer gives young players opportunities and if I keep on performing week in and week out hopefully I'll get my chance.

"That's all you can really ask for from a manager is the opportunity to show what you can do out on the pitch.

"I've just got to keep on going and keep doing what I'm doing and staying focused. I know I have to stay grounded but I've got my mum, dad and older brothers who will do that."

Pictures by Roy Smilanic.