Harborough lad Josh makes Leicester City debut

Josh Knight makes his debut of Leicester City on Tuesday night. Photo from Leicester City/Plumb Images (Photo by Plumb Images/Leicester City FC via Getty Images) NNL-170823-112110001
Josh Knight makes his debut of Leicester City on Tuesday night. Photo from Leicester City/Plumb Images (Photo by Plumb Images/Leicester City FC via Getty Images) NNL-170823-112110001

A former Robert Smyth schoolboy from Fleckney made his debut for his local Premiership football team Leicester City this week.

Tall defender Josh Knight (19) fulfilled a lifelong ambition when he appeared as a substitute in City’s 4-1 win at Sheffield United in the EFL Cup on Tuesday night.

Foxes fan Josh got his big chance after injuries to City’s usual central defence pairing, Robert Huth and club captain Wes Morgan.

But City manager Craig Shakespeare said he had no worries about promoting Josh to City’s first team squad.

“Josh Knight is tall, athletic, aggressive and can play out from the back” he said.

“I was impressed with him last season so I’ve drafted him into the squad.”

Josh’s mum and dad Sue and Mick were in Sheffield to watch Josh’s first team debut.

Mick said: “It’s very exciting for us, but Josh is laid-back and takes it in his stride.

“Me and his mum were watching him warming up before he came on against Sheffield United , and were excited and nervous.

“But he played exactly the same as he does for the under-23s.

“The block he made which stopped a certain goal was even the same as one he did against Everton for the under 23s.”

Josh won a paid scholarship with Leicester City when he was a 16-year-old playing his football in Fleckney and for Robert Smyth school in Market Harborough.

Josh told the Mail at the time he won the scholarship: “I’m nervous, but very excited. Only eight people were selected for the scholarship.”

Mike Scully, a senior PE teacher at Robert Smyth school, said: “It is a fantastic achievement in such a competitive sport, so congratulations to Josh and his parents for all the hard work and effort that they have put in over the years.”

Most recently, Josh has been quietly establishing his reputation in City’s under-23 squad.

He enjoyed his first full season with the development squad last season, and recently scored the winner in a victory over Everton.

He signed a new two-year contract with City last month.

In Tuesday night’s away match against Sheffield United, City eventually ran out convincing winners, with goals from Demarai Gray, Islam Slimani (2) and Ahmed Musa.

Coalan Lavery pulled a goal back for the Blades, as his miscued cross fortuitously beat City keeper Ben Hamer.