REKEEM Harper said it was a “great experience” to become just the second player born this century to make a Premier League appearance as he made his debut for the Baggies in the 1-0 win over AFC Bournemouth.
The 17-year-old came on for the final 30 minutes and helped Albion secure an opening day victory following Ahmed Hegazi’s first half goal.
“I’ve been waiting ages for this moment and just to get it was really good,” said Harper.
“Running on I was so excited and I just wanted to help the team because we were winning at the time, so I wanted to help us see out the game and show the fans what I’m made of.
“For my time on the pitch it was very end-to-end, they had a lot of the ball and then we had a lot of the ball. We were living off the counter attacks and sitting in, and it was suited to my game really because we were going forward and getting back, going box-to-box.
“Getting in the midfield alongside Claudio (Yacob) and Jake (Livermore) was just a really good experience because they’re such great players.”
Harper is now looking forward to seeing what he can achieve next after making his first top flight appearance, but knows he’ll have to continue working hard to get more game time.
He added: “If I’m here then I want to be pushing into the first team and pushing on from this because I want people to know what I’m about as a player.
“But also, if I’m not here, then I’ll be doing my trade in a lower league and showing what I’m made of.”
The midfielder also believes it was key for the team to get off to the best possible start by picking up three points ahead of the trip to Burnley next weekend.
“It was very important (for us to get off to a winning start) because last year we had loads of momentum as we were winning games, and we just want to better where we finished last season.
“Burnley will be a tough game because every Premier League game is a tough game. Every match you watch is tight because they say it’s the best league in the world – and it’s true.”