Billy Mitchell would “relish” Den first-team action: Playing for Millwall was my boyhood dream

BY RICHARD CAWLEY

Billy Mitchell made his first start for Millwall in midweek – and the teenage midfielder admits he would “relish” the chance to step out at The Den in a senior game.

The 18-year-old midfielder made his debut as a substitute on the final day of last season – replacing Shaun Williams at Wigan.

Lions fan Mitchell has scored at The Den – he produced a screamer against Tottenham in the FA Youth Cup in December 2018.

Now comes the challenge of trying to get minutes there for Neil Harris’ first-team. He said: “I would really relish playing in front of 15,000 home fans.

“Hopefully that’s something that will come soon. I have season tickets through Millwall. I did as well when I was younger, in the Barry Kitchener upper.

“To end up playing for your boyhood club is any kid’s dream. It’s a reality now, so long may it continue. I grew up in Orpington but my dad’s family is from Bermondsey way. Millwall has always been part of my childhood.”

Mitchell had trials with Spurs, Brentford and Gillingham before signing for Millwall.

He is on a one-year professional deal which is due to expire at the end of June.

“I’ve got to impress as much as I can and hopefully at the end of this year Millwall feel that I’ve earned another contract,” said Mitchell.

“That [his start in the League Cup] is a great taster. I’ll be doing everything I can in training and U23 games to impress the gaffer and his staff and hopefully make the first team.

“For the most part I’m very pleased with how [the Oxford game] went, I’m very grateful to the gaffer and his staff for giving me the opportunity to play in a great cup game like that.

“For the majority of it we were the better team and scored two great goals. But unfortunately playing good football doesn’t win you games and that’s a learning curve for me, making sure we close out those games.

“I’m pleased to get my first full start. Undeniably there are a few nerves before kicking off, but once you get on that pitch it’s the same as playing any other football game.

“I just concentrated on settling myself down with a few simple passes to try to get myself into the game.”

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