It was a schoolboy dream come true, and for Brandon Cooper it was the reward for 12 years of hard graft.
The moment Cooper was told he would make his Swansea City debut by Graham Potter is one he won’t forget.
The 18-year-old was one of five players handed their senior bow from the start for the Carabao Cup defeat to Crystal Palace on Tuesday night.
With an average age of just under 23 in the starting XI, Cooper was part of a youthful side that impressed at the Liberty Stadium against Premier League opponents.
He featured for 62 minutes before injury saw him replaced by Tyler Reid – another debutant among seven in all.
And for Cooper, who only returned from a five-month injury lay-off a few weeks ago, it was the reward for a journey which began when he joined the Swans’ academy at the age of six.
“It was an amazing night for me,” said Bridgend-born Cooper, who was named the Swans’ scholar of the year in May.
“I was gutted to come off with cramp but I am so chuffed to have made my senior debut.
“I have progressed through the under-18s to the under-23s to the first team quite quickly, so I’m very grateful to be given the chance and hopefully I can get more opportunities in the future.
“It was inspiring to see so many young players included in the squad. The fact that seven of us were given our senior debuts is great for us and the academy and will help to make us better players.”