Christmas came early for Dara O’Shea after the Dubliner made his league debut for West Brom on Saturday.
The 20-year-old Dubliner was introduced early in the second half as the Baggies played out a 1-1 draw with Brentford to remain top of the pile in the Skybet Championship.
Following the game, the 20-year-old described his debut as the best Christmas present.
“It was great. It’s been my aim since I signed for the club to get in the first team after signing as a scholar. It’s a proud moment for me, I am just really glad and I am really happy to have finally made it.”
“Slaven said just do your thing. Do what you have been doing the whole time. Go out and play your game. He said I am good enough to play so I am well able for it.
“I’m not going to lie I was a bit nervous. Coming on to make your league debut is a big thing. Having not been in the squad the last few weeks and then to be thrown in on the bench and come on and make my debut, it was great. I am buzzing.
“I said to myself I was going to come on and keep everything solid and keep the ball ticking and not try and do anything mad. First of all, I am a defender so I just wanted to defend and show everyone that I can defend. I thought I did alright, obviously, there is improvement to be made. For a debut, it wasn’t bad.
“The lads have been congratulating me. They are a great bunch of lads here and they helped me through the game. It made it a lot easier.”
Following the game, manager Slaven Bilic singled out O’Shea, who played for St Kevin’s Boys before joining West Brom, for praise.
“I don’t like to praise or criticise the players based on half an hour, it’s a bit amateur,” Bilic told Birmingham Live.
“I am gonna praise him, because I know he ain’t gonna be ‘big time’. Dara is the future, and he can be present. Dara is one of the reasons why when I came to the club we didn’t sign another defender.
“They wanted to bring in not only Semi [Ajayi] but another, because they were lacking numbers. I didn’t want to.
“Why? Because of Dara. I believe in him. Based on today, he’s a player. I love Dara.”