The Graduates No.37: Reece Wabara
- 15 November 2011 14:54
- Posted by David Clayton
Reece Wabara followed a well-trodden path when he joined City in 2007.
Signed from Walsall’s academy aged 15, the classy central defender went to the same Quinton school as both Joleon Lescott and Daniel Sturridge before joining the Blues.
Since then, Wabara has progressed to a defender of some promise and after a couple of years with the Elite Development Squad, he finally broke into the first team last season.
The grandson of a Nigerian international footballer, Wabara quickly progressed through the youth ranks to become a regular at Under-18 level before gradually being eased into the EDS side.
A footballing centre-half, he has is a great reader of the game and has good technique and pace – attributes that saw him become a regular for the second string for almost two seasons.
He remained at City when many of his team-mates were loaned out, with a feeling that his development would be better served training with the senior squad than flung into the hectic world of lower league football.
Finally, on the last day of the 2010/11 season, Roberto Mancini gave Wabara his first-team debut as he came on as a substitute in the victory over Bolton Wanderers.
It was the perfect fillip for the 19-year-old who, by then, was also an established member of the England Under-20 squad
By the start of the 2011/12 campaign, there had been several enquiries from Championship clubs looking to take the Academy graduate on loan and the Blues eventually decided a three-month loan with Ipswich Town could further his progress.
He made three substitute appearances for the Tractor Boys before finally making his first senior start at any level in a 3-2 home defeat to Doncaster Rovers.
He is due to return towards the end of next month, where he will hope to then continue to push for a place in the Blues’ senior squad.
The coaching staff at City certainly believe he is capable of becoming a first-team player one day and that belief was demonstrated in March 2011 when he penned a new three-year deal keeping him with the Blues until at least 2014.
With the right guidance and application, Wabara should go on to enjoy a great career in football.