A HUMBLED Bradley Wright-Phillips admits he cannot wait to face the club that turned him from a “little boy” into a man.

The former St Mary’s striker will line up against his old team for Charlton tonight – and he will do so as a very different person to the one that joined Saints in 2006.

After signing from Manchester City as a 21-year-old, Wright-Phillips was labelled the ‘Coca-Cola kid’.

That was because the soft drink giant funded half of his £500,000 transfer, after a Saints fan won a competition to earn the club the cash. And Wright-Phillips, now 26, admits that ‘kid’ was indeed the right description of him then and it was only after three years on the south coast that he felt he had finally grown up.

“When I left Man City I was really young,” he told the Daily Echo.

“I did get a bit of first-team action, but I couldn’t really call that my own football team.

“In all honesty, I felt like I was a little boy there. But at Southampton it was the first time I really felt part of a team.

“I grew up down there and, good times and bad, I loved it.”

Wright-Phillips’ life has changed completely in the last few years, as he is now the proud father of a two-year-old daughter. Family life is something that he believes has had an extremely positive effect on his life.

“It’s made me a lot more humbled,” said Wright-Phillips. “When you’ve got a good family there’s nothing more you can really ask for.”

Wright-Phillips reluctantly left Saints in the summer of 2009, after the club went into administration and was relegated to League One.

He had wanted to stay, but with no income and a child not far away, he decided to accept an offer to join Plymouth.

“I didn’t really want to leave,” he said.

“But I had already stayed on for two or three weeks without getting paid, as I was out of contract.

“It got to the stage where I just couldn’t wait for the takeover any longer, so I had to go.”

Wright-Phillips bagged 13 goals for Plymouth this season before a January move to The Valley, where he has taken his total for the campaign to 18.

“Probably, goal-wise, it’s the best season I’ve had,” explained the forward, who puts his scoring streak down to a regular run of games for the first time in his career.

“It’s been good in that respect, although the last few weeks I haven’t really been getting any.“But it’s been a memorable season for me.”

Wright-Phillips, who remains friendly with Saints winger Adam Lallana, is hoping his old club win promotion.

But only after Charlton beat them tonight, and end their run of eight games without a victory.

“It’s going to be a big one, I can’t wait for it,” said Wright-Phillips.