AS an Aston Villa fan who started his career in the Birmingham City Academy, Joe Lolley’s eye was always going to be drawn to Huddersfield Town’s visit to St Andrews when the fixture list was published last summer.
Throw in the fact that, apart from his dad, all the family are Blues season-ticket holders and it is no wonder that the 22-year-old is hoping to follow up last weekend’s first start of the season by retaining his place in Chris Powell’s XI.
With good cause, too, after a previous visit saw those same family members have an unexpected and light-hearted dig at their relative.
“Last time, they held up a banner with some obscene words about me,” said Lolley. “So, I am not sure who they will be supporting.
“I would love to score. I know where they sit and will look straight up there if I do manage to score.”
Lolley left Birmingham at 16 after being released. He joined Bromsgrove but it was 88 goals in 83 appearances for Midlands Combination outfit Littleton that brought the scouts flocking.
Kidderminster Harriers took a chance on the teenager and were rewarded when Huddersfield paid £300,000 for him last season.
Having played for almost an hour in last weekend’s defeat at home to Rotherham United, Lolley said: “It had been a long time since I last started a game so I was excited to play last week.
“I felt I handled myself all right but it was frustrating how the game went. Now, we have got to be strong.
“We were 12th a few weeks ago and these last three defeats have been hard. We need to make sure we stand up and be counted. We have to get back to winning ways.
“The mood is good and training has been very sharp, very intense and it has gone up a level this week.”