Walsall defender Tom Leak was delighted to make his professional debut against Southend United on Tuesday night.
The Saddlers were held to a goalless draw at Roots Hall on what proved to be a frustrating evening against the Shrimpers.
The 20-year-old has had to be patient to wait for a first team opportunity but he was over the moon to be given a chance and hopes to push on and feature more regularly.
“It’s hard to put into words the feeling,” Leak said.
“It means so much to my family and I to get this opportunity so it’s a good night for me to make that debut. It’s about getting more and more now.
“I thought I’d be a lot more nervous than I was.
“It was just about getting my first couple of things right to settle in and I thought I did that.
“It was a bit of nerves but excitement as well because it’s been a while trying to get this moment.
“It’s different to Under 23s but I felt alright, I felt fit and to last 90 minutes, I felt strong. That’s credit to Mark Bradley who’s kept me fit by running so it felt alright.”
Leak, one of five academy graduates who featured against Southend, was frustrated the Saddlers were unable to capitalise Sam Hart’s sending off in the second and go on to collect three points but admitted the team’s performance wasn’t enough to merit a victory.
“I don’t think we can really say that we deserved the three points,” he admitted.
“I think a point is a positive on the road so we have to build on that and go again Saturday.
“We know we could have been better at both sides of the game, putting them under pressure with and without the ball so it’s a bit of a frustrating one for us really.”
The Saddlers now turn their attention to Saturday’s trip to Grimsby Town which you can watch live on iFollow – match passes are available here.