Evan Gumbs enjoyed getting his teeth into first team football on Saturday – despite ending up on the losing side.
The 17-year old second year scholar came off the bench to make his Tranmere debut during their 1-0 defeat to Luton Town.
It was an enforced change for boss Micky Adams, made to shuffle his pack after Josh Thompson picked up a hamstring injury.
But after far from disgraced himself in his 19-minute cameo, Gumbs hopes it’s the start of a bright future in the game.
“It was a bit of a shock to come on, but I was ready and I enjoyed it,” he beamed.
“I was told to relax and be confident and that’s what I tried to do.
“Since Micky Adams came in, I only had my first training session with the first team on Friday!
“But I actually clean his boots, so I’ve had personal contact with him, just not much on the training ground.
“We’re disappointed that we’ve lost, isn’t everyone when you lose a game? But there’s a long way to go in the season to get back up the table.
“The league table’s lying today. They’ve done really well. We should have got something out of the game.”
Gumbs looked confident when he came on, moving forward regularly and always available for the ball.
Indeed, he was unlucky not to get an assist as one cross from the right found Danny Johnson, who headed just wide.
That came seconds after Paul Benson had been booked for a horrible tackle on Gumbs, who did well not to react after jumping up to confront the experienced striker.
“I’ve got to make my mark and look after myself out there,” he smirked, “so that’s what I’ve got to do!”
Micky Adams was also impressed with Gumbs’ performance, and hopes it’s the first of many in a white shirt.
He may even be forced to start the youngster next week, if Janoi Donacien and Josh Thompson fail to recover from hamstring injuries.
“We’ll look at that, that’s a big ask for a 17-year old,” he said.
“If we have to, we’ll have to, but as you’ve seen today, he’s not disgraced himself.
“He can feel very, very pleased with the efforts he’s put in.
“He’ll remember his debut, and it’s things like that that as a manager, you look back with pride, because I’ve given him his debut and I hope he goes on to bigger and better things.”