Fenton Heard was understandably "delighted" to make his senior Albion debut in Sunday afternoon’s 4-1 victory against Aldershot Town in the third round of the Emirates FA Cup.
The 19-year-old from Great Barr, who joined the club’s academy at the age of seven, was named in the starting XI for the tie at The Hawthorns having never been involved in a first-team matchday squad before.
Heard delivered a really impressive display in a central attacking midfield role and played a big part in the Baggies’ opening goal which was scored by Nathaniel Chalobah.
Fenton says it was an incredibly proud day for him, with the youngster now targeting further opportunities to showcase his obvious talent.
He said: “It was a really good performance from the lads and I’m absolutely delighted to make my debut for this great club.
“I’ve been here for a long time now and it’s just great to get this reward. Hopefully there are many more first-team appearances to come.
“During training in the week leading up to game I was in and out of it. There was a bit of shape work and I was in and around it. I didn’t really get my hopes up, I was just looking forward to being involved in the squad and I was relishing the opportunity.
“As soon as I saw my name on the teamsheet I was absolutely buzzing and I was really excited to get going.
“I had literally everyone here at The Hawthorns supporting me. The day before the game was absolutely mad, trying to sort tickets for everyone.
“That’s what it’s all about, making everyone proud. It’s about repaying them for all the favours they’ve done for me over the years such as taking me to training and games. I’m really proud.
“My first few touches certainly helped calm me down. Games like that on your debut you’ve just got to try and work your way into the game. When that happens, you think it’s your day.
“I had an opportunity to score at the end. My shot nearly dipped in.
“My game is getting the ball down and playing, creating opportunities, so once I had those first few touches and passes, I was focused on relishing the chance even more.
“It was a really good day for the academy. We spend lots of time with each other, pretty much every day. We probably see more of each other than we do our own families. It’s a great day like I said and I’m really happy for the other lads.
“The senior lads have been fantastic with me. They applauded me and everyone else who made their debut today, which is top class. I can’t fault any of them because they all welcomed us in and gave us a stage to perform and show our quality.”