Birmingham youngsters challenged to earn new deals through loans

Birmingham City FC - St. Andrews

Birmingham City boss tells Callum Reilly and Will Packwood that they can earn new deals by playing well for their loan clubs

Callum Reilly and Will Packwood have been reassured by Birmingham City manager Gary Rowett that their loan deals away from St Andrew's do not spell the end of their respective Blues careers.

Both players are out of contract at the end of the season and were well down the pecking order for a place in the matchday squad prior to their temporary moves away from Birmingham.

Irish U21 midfielder Reilly made his debut for Burton Albion from the bench on Saturday while American defender Will Packwood played the whole game for Cheltenham Town - his first full 90 minutes of league action this season.

"The plan for those going out is to give them an opportunity to earn another contract," Rowett told the Birmingham Mail.

"The best way for them to do that is to be playing 90 minutes every week in competitive action."

While Reilly has made sporadic substitute appearances for Birmingham City prior to his loan move it had been difficult for him to make any impression on the first team, and the arrival of Robert Tesche on loan pushed him further out of the squad.

The hope is that if he can get himself into the Burton first team - challenging at the top of League Two - and retain that spot, he can show that he is worthy of a new deal. The onus now is very much on him to achieve that as he is effectively playing for his Birmingham City future.

Likewise, Will Packwood has had a major injury this season, suffered on loan at Colchester United, and he knows that he will need to show that he is fully back to fitness and can withstand the rough and tumble of League Two football.

In the meantime, Packwood has been called up for the USA U23 training camp at the end of this month. The training camp is being held in Sarajevo and Copenhagen to look at players ahead of their CONCACAF qualifying campaign for the 2016 Olympics, which is held in October of this year.

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