Ryan Yates hopes to make new Premier League memories for Nottingham Forest

The midfielder can help the Reds end a 23-year exile from the top flight by beating Huddersfield in Sunday’s Sky Bet Championship play-off.

Jonathan Veal
Saturday 28 May 2022 09:00
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Ryan Yates is ready to taste Premier League football for himself (Scott Wilson/PA)
Ryan Yates is ready to taste Premier League football for himself (Scott Wilson/PA)

Ryan Yates’ only experience of Nottingham Forest in the big time is watching old episodes of ‘The Premier League Years’, but he is determined to get the club back there this weekend.

The midfielder, who joined the club as a schoolboy, was 18 months old when Forest were last in the top flight, but can help end a 23-year exile if his side beat Huddersfield in the Sky Bet Championship play-off on Sunday.

Yates has spent many hours watching the nostalgic show, gorging himself on Teddy Sheringham’s famous goal against Liverpool in 1992, but wants a slice of the action for himself.

“I was only 18 months old? That’s incredible really, I used to watch Premier League Years when I was younger,” he said.

“I have seen it, the pictures weren’t the best back then to be fair. Times have changed a lot, so we are looking forward to creating our own history now.

“Just those players, the Teddy Sheringham goal is one that comes to mind, I have probably watched that 10 times and still watch it now, it’s a good watch.”

The current crop of Forest players are often reminded about the successes of those who went before them, with memories of back-to-back European Cups and a host of Wembley visits in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Forest were founder members of the Premier League, but have not played there since 1999 (Rui Viera/PA)

While being proud of the club’s past, Yates has a burning desire to “write new history”.

“For me personally that is a huge motivation,” he said.

“Ever since I have been at the academy, all the talk has been about what happened before, the European Cups, the ex-players, which is absolutely amazing that the club has got the history, but when it has been so so long, it is time to write new history and we certainly want to be in the history books.

“That is something that motivates me personally.”

Playing at Wembley for Forest might mean more to Yates than his team-mates given his long association with the club and the fact his family are all supporters.

He is not allowing himself to get swept away in the size of the occasion and knows there is a job to be done.

“Personally I try not to think about it too much,” he said. “You’re trying to sort all the tickets, you’ve got a million and one people asking for a ticket, naturally you do think about it all of the time.

“It’s going to be a massive, massive occasion, and one we have to thrive in. At the end of the day we have got a job to do,” he added.

“I have been trying to put all that to one side and focus myself so I can perform at the best level I can. Our job is to go and win the game.”

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