Walsall forward Danny Johnson was over the moon after scoring a hat-trick on his debut.
The Saddlers started the 2022/23 season with an emphatic 4-0 victory over Hartlepool United at the Poundland Bescot Stadium as the 29-year-old shone with his trio of goals after Brandon Comley’s first half opener.
Johnson admitted his debut went even better than he imagined but was delighted to get off the mark on day one.
“I’m ecstatic,” he said.
“You want to get off to a good start on your debut, put on a performance for the fans and show what you can do but that was beyond anything that I imagined could happen after the amount of game time I’ve had over the past few months.
“That’s why I’ve come here, the gaffer said he was going to give me chances and to get in the box and do what I do.
“We were attacking, we were dangerous every time we went forward and I felt as though we were going to get chances and that’s a dream for forwards.
“In my first game last week (against Solihull Moors) I managed to get a goal so that helped me settle in.
“Obviously, you go into the first game of the season wanting to get your first league goal just to set you off, settle you down and that came in the first half and I went on from there.
"I’m delighted to be off the mark and get a hat-trick.”
A crowd of 5754 watched the Saddlers cruise past Paul Hartley’s Pools.
Johnson enjoyed playing at the Poundland Bescot Stadium and is keen to continue giving them something to cheer about.
“I loved it; the atmosphere was good,” he commented.
“It always helps when you give them a performance to get behind. As a team, that’s what we’ve got to do every week.
"If we want their support, it’s got to work both ways. We’ve got to give them something to come down here and cheer.”