Birthday boy Jack Senior has quickly acquired the taste for life in the Football League after making his debut against Crewe Alexandra on Saturday.
The full back, who turned 20 the day before the game, had been named on the substitutes bench for the clash, but came on once Alan Sheehan was sent off for a second yellow card after 54 minutes.
It’s a little step higher in League Two, in terms of what people are competing for come Saturday at three o’clock and I like the taste of it.Jack Senior
Senior looked at home straight away, playing his part fully in the 2-1 win, as on his first ever appearance, he said: “It’s probably one of the best feelings I’ve had in football.
“To make my debut and in the circumstances, being at 10 men, grabbing the winner and holding out, it’s just one of those feelings that I won’t forget and I want more of.
“To make my Football League debut was a nice little birthday present, so I’m overwhelmed.
“It was different kind of birthday spending it on a coach and in a hotel, but with the three points, it’s more than worthwhile.
“I’ve come from playing 21s football. My first Checkatrade game was a massive difference and I’ve adapted to that.
“It’s a little step higher in League Two, in terms of what people are competing for come Saturday at three o’clock and I like the taste of it.”
Senior’s only other taste of first team football had come in the Checkatrade Trophy so far this season, making four appearances.
He admitted that being part of a 10 man side trying to hold on for victory under a late aerial onslaught, was slightly different to how he had imagined his debut beforehand though, continuing: “You do think about it from a young lad, making your Football League debut.
“It was different as you think about it with 11 men on the pitch and you think about scoring the winner.
“But my job first and foremost is a defender and I think that’s what we did and I did as well.
“So I’m more than happy with the way it ended with three points.”
On his youngster’s first appearance, boss Nathan Jones said: “He has so much ability, so much character and he’s got so much about him.
“If he was two inches taller I think he would be a top, top player, so he’s going to have to overcome that.
“But he does that through his ability and his desire to do well and I’m delighted for him.
“He’s come up to me and thanked me, but he’s earned that and he’s what we’re about here, we give talent opportunity, it’s where talent and opportunity meet, I’m delighted for him, but he just came on and was part and parcel of an excellent team performance.”
The fact that Senior appeared so at ease in his new surroundings too didn’t surprise Jones one bit either as he said: “It’s what we knew were getting, that kind of player.
“There’s a lot of development left in him, but he’s the type we want. He’s very proactive, he presses, he goes and backs himself, excellent in possession, has a load of character about him.
“His size and stature doesn’t quite live up to what he’s got inside, his heart and he’s a great one for us.
“We knew we were bringing that type in, we let Cameron McJannett go to Stoke as part of the deal as we knew we could bring someone like him in and we felt we improved it, without being disrespectful, he was just ahead of Cameron at the time.
“So we felt we were improving the squad at the time bringing him in and I’m glad everyone sees that now.”
With Sheehan suspended, Senior would now love to keep his place for Saturday’s trip to Wycombe, adding: “Hopefully, you never know what can happen in a week in football, but I’ll work hard and do the best I can and training and we’ll see what comes from there.”