US international Brek Shea may have endured a tough time in England so far, but the Stoke City midfielder is hoping his three-month loan spell at Birmingham City can help revitalise his career.
The loan is the 24-year-old’s second in the Championship since joining Stoke from MLS club FC Dallas in January 2013 for £2.5 million, having previously seen a stint at Barnsley during the second-half of last season cut short following an incident in which he made an obscene gesture towards a fan.
Once considered the US’s brightest prospect, his reputation has taken a considerable hit during his 18 months at the Britannia, having made just five first-team appearances for the Potters, but the left winger is confident that his spell under Lee Clark will help turn things around.
‘I’m excited to come and play for this club. It’s a big club with great fans so I’m very excited,’ the told the club’s official website.
‘The gaffer wanted me to come, plus I like the way they play. It’s a big club that’s pushing to get back to the Premier League. It’s always good to have a manager that wants you there. It makes you feel good as a player and helps you improve.
‘It's been a rough time through injuries and lack of playing but I'm back on my feet and ready.’
Deemed surplus to requirements under Mark Hughes, the former MLS star was linked to Southampton during the closing stages of the summer transfer window, as well with a move to either the Bundesliga or Eredivisie, with US head coach Jurgen Klismann stressing the need for regular first-team minutes in order to remain in the national team picture.
Now blessed with another chance to prove himself in the second-tier, the 27-times capped Texas-native believes his stint with the Blues could be the stepping stone to getting things back on track.
‘I’m excited to get games in – hopefully 90 minutes – so I’m looking forward to it. It’s a tough league, with a lot of running and people smashing you here and there, but it’s also a good league,’ he said.
‘I’ve already played twice [at St Andrew’s] – one time with Stoke turned out to be a crazy 3-3 with a penalty shootout – but it’s a good environment, a nice stadium, and I’m excited to be calling it my home for a while.
‘Hopefully I’ll work hard, try to create some assists and score some goals maybe.’