Forward Rayhaan Tulloch has spoken of his delight at Albion’s pathway for young players after he enjoyed his senior debut at Brighton & Hove Albion.
Darren Moore started the FA Cup fourth-round tie with four Academy graduates on the pitch before bringing on Tulloch with just under 10 minutes remaining, making him the youngest player to have played for the Baggies this season.
A regular at Under-18 and Under-23 level, Rayhaan was pleased to get his first minutes in the senior side on the south coast, just six days after his 18th birthday.
“The Club are giving us a lot of opportunities and trusting us as a whole,” said Rayhaan.
“It gives everyone a lot of hope to see there is a pathway here.
“It was not expected at all. I got a text the night before they travelled and they said I was going to be going with the first-team.”
But Moore’s faith in the youngster didn’t stop at putting him on the bench - with quarter of an hour to play, he told Rayhaan to prepare to come on.
“The gaffer came up to me about 75 minutes in and said you might be coming on, so just warm up and get ready.
“I’ve been waiting a long time and it’s just the right timing, the gaffer has had trust in me and put me on to get a little run around to get a feel for it. It’s a good experience overall.
“It’s a lot different to my normal age group. It’s a lot quicker, a lot more physical, you have just got to be sharp on the ball.”
Featuring for Albion in the FA Cup is a proud achievement; the Baggies have won the competition five times - which is something that was talked about before the tie at the Amex Stadium.
“There’s a lot of FA Cup history in the Club, we hear about it,” added Tulloch.
“They talked about it before the game saying you’ve got a lot to show - we’re a good side, playing good opposition, so just go out and do your best.”