Teenage defender Ewan Simpson told of his delight after impressing in a 35-minute appearance for South Shields on Tuesday.
The 18-year-old, who is a regular in the Mariners’ reserves side, made his debut for the club during the 2014-15 season, playing twice during Shields’ final campaign in Peterlee.
He was a late call-up for the game against West Auckland Town on Tuesday in Northern League Division One, and was pressed into action following an injury to Louis Storey.
He slotted in well at left-back, and after an assured display, he was given a great reception from the Shields fans following the 4-1 victory.
Afterwards, Simpson said: “It was brilliant to get on the pitch and get some minutes.
“I didn’t expect to get on, but Louis unfortunately got injured and I went in at left-back.
“Danny Carson was at centre-back and he was brilliant alongside me, talking to me.
“We conceded, which we obviously weren’t happy about, but after the draw on Saturday, the lads were buzzing to win again.
“Coming off, the fans were brilliant towards me, which I didn’t expect. They were shaking our hands and high-fiving us, which was fantastic.”
Another SSFC Reserves player, Ryan Bolam, is also now registered for the senior side, having been transferred from Seaham Red Star.
Bolam is the youngest goalscorer for the club in the modern era, having netted on his debut against Stokesley in 2014 as a 16-year-old.
He spent time at Seaham last season and at the start of this season, combining that with playing for Shields’ Under-18s and latterly reserve teams.
He will continue to play for the reserves, but if called upon, the midfielder will also now be available for the first team.
The Mariners’ joint manager, Lee Picton, hopes the introduction of Simpson on Tuesday will send out a great message to all players involved with the club.
He said: “Ewan Simpson was a big plus for us on Tuesday, and I think it sends a great message throughout the whole club.
“He did a great job, and hopefully he’ll gain a lot from that.
“Who knows where that might go over the coming weeks and months?”
You can watch a full interview with Ewan at the top of this page.
VIDEO: Daniel Prince. STILL IMAGE: Peter Talbot.