'A proud moment for me'

27th December 2017
First team

Oli McBurnie has spoken of his pride at making his first Premier League start despite a disappointing result against Liverpool.

The young striker was named in the starting XI for the first time in the top flight at Anfield on Boxing Day and let nobody down as he played 62 minutes of the 5-0 defeat.

The pain of a heavy loss aside, McBurnie was delighted to be given the starting opportunity, which he only found out about from caretaker boss Leon Britton on Christmas Day.

“I’ve been in and around the first team for a while now and it’s good to get my first Premier League start,” he said.

“Hopefully, I can kick on now and the boys can start picking up some better results.

“Leon pulled me to one side to tell me I’d be starting and that I deserved it. He told me he wasn’t expecting anything from me, but just to go out there and do whatever I could. I’ll always be grateful to him for that.

“It’s a very proud moment for me and my family.”

McBurnie, who joined the Swans from Bradford City in July 2015, has earned his opportunities in the first team after impressing with the under-23s this season.

And with a first Premier League start under his belt, the 21-year-old is targeting many more in the future.

“When you’re a kid, you always dream about playing at stadiums like Anfield under the lights, so to do that for my Premier League debut was brilliant,” he added.

“I didn’t feel out of place, which was a huge positive for me and my confidence. I think I grew as the first half went on. 

“The pace is much quicker and more demanding than what I’m used to but, ultimately, it’s where I want to be.

“Making as many starts as possible has been the aim ever since I joined Swansea, and it’s now looking like more of a reality. I just want to play as much as I can and help the team out as much as I can.”