Kalvin Phillips made his debut for Leeds United on Easter Monday.
The 19-year-old played the full 90 minutes as the Whites lost 4-3 to Wolves, and he has told the Yorkshire Evening Post what he was told by Redfearn before making his debut.
“I had an idea I was going to be in the squad, but I didn’t have a clue whether I’d be starting, playing or whatever,” the youngster said. “Redders pushed me to one side and asked if I was feeling alright and I said: ‘Yes.’ He then said: ‘You are playing tomorrow.’ And I was like wow.’
“I felt quite calm, to be honest. All the older lads were telling me to be calm and stuff and said just play how you do in the under-21s.”
Captain of the Whites academy side, Phillips did not look out of place in the Leeds midfield in the tough Championship tie, and his debut was a well deserved reward having been part of Redfearn’s matchday squads for the previous fixtures with Wigan, Nottingham Forest and Blackburn.
What was more of a surprise was that the youngster was awarded a start on his debut rather than coming off the bench, although with little to play for in the rest of the campaign, Redfearn can pick and choose youngsters as he pleases.
Leeds may have lost the game, but Phillips put in a strong performance. There were still issues with his performance, but they are the type of thing that can been overcome with experience and more game time, and it would come as no surprise if he was awarded more appearances before the end of the season.
Phillips is the latest in a long line of talent to progress from the Leeds academy to the first-team, and he will be lining up alongside the likes of Alex Mowatt, Sam Byram and Lewis Cook this season. Whilst Redfearn is in charge it is unlikely that such a production line would stop, and the club would be wise to keep him leading the club into the new campaign.