Antef Tsoungui couldn’t have been prouder to make his professional debut for Albion.
The 18-year-old started at centre-back against Cardiff City in the Carabao Cup, keeping a clean sheet as Albion ran out 2-0 winners.
“I didn’t really think about what we had achieved initially after the game, but once I saw all the messages flashing up saying ‘a really young team has beaten Cardiff away’, I slowly realised what we had actually done.
“We didn’t concede against a team that had scored eight goals in their previous four games, they were all headers as well and I am not the tallest! So to be able to deal with that pressure was pleasing.
“I learned more in that game than I have in any other 90 minutes I have played in my career so far. I didn’t feel tired at the end of the game because of the adrenaline flowing through my body. It was only the next day that I was like ‘wow’, watching back the highlights and seeing how well we did.
“It was also the next day when I have never felt as sore and mentally drained. It carried onto our next Premier League 2 game five days later. Every step I took I could feel a dead leg and bruises everywhere.
“To have Tsoungui on the back of a shirt though for a professional game was a dream come true. My family were very proud, they’ve supported me all the way through.”
Tsoungui – who joined Albion in 2018 – has also been a part of an under-23s team that have won two out of their three opening Premier League 2 games, drawing the other against Liverpool.
They face Blackburn Rovers on Friday at the Amex, 7pm kick-off.
“In Premier League 2 we’ve really taken on board everything that Andrew Crofts and Shan [Ruth] have wanted us to, being on the front foot and being aggressive while not letting the other stamp their authority on us.
“I don’t think getting up to a level is the hardest part, the toughest thing is staying at that level. That’s what we have got to do as a team and me as an individual. I have got to demand the most out of myself. As a team we need to keep our heads down, we’ve had a good start, but we’ve not won the league, we’ve won two games and drawn one. We need to focus.
“Blackburn will be a tough game. They’re a very physical team, we need to be aggressive.
“I’ve played a couple of games at the Amex before and it’s an enjoyable experience. The environment feels so professional, it’ll be a different experience definitely.”