It was an U23 debut to remember for 15-year-old central midfielder Dan Chesters on Saturday as he was introduced as a late substitute tasked with seeing out the 1-0 Premier League 2 victory over Liverpool.
Chesters – who has already impressed on a number of occasions for the U18s this campaign – was given five minutes to show his qualities in Merseyside at the end of the huge Division 1 clash.
And the youngster got on the ball a couple of times, spraying one or two passes wide and showing why he was in the matchday squad on merit.
He said: “It was a special day, and one that I really enjoyed. To be honest, at the start of the season, I wouldn’t have expected that I’d make my U23s debut before the end of the campaign, so it’s amazing for me.
“I just wanted to make sure I got a couple of games for the U18s, and if I did that, to try and cement a place in that team, to get my place in the squad, so to come and play at this level is great.
“I really enjoyed the day as a whole; it was good to get out on the pitch and play with the boys, but everything from the pre-match to the journey and being a sub was a great experience for me.”
Often utilised as a No10 for Mark Phillips and Steve Potts’ U18s, Chesters was brought into the midfield at Liverpool’s Kirkby Academy to solidify the team with the hosts chasing the game.
And although he admitted at first the nerves kicked in, the youngster enjoyed his cameo for Terry Westley’s side.
“I was a bit nervous when I first went out onto the pitch but I got a few early touches of the ball and felt as though that went pretty quickly,” he continued.
“We were just trying to shut Liverpool down, being 1-0 up, so that was the job we had to do and we did that.
“I want to get my place in the U18s squad sorted for the rest of the season and then think about progressing into the U23s after that.”