Tsoungui: It's been a perfect start

Young defender enjoying great start to the season.

By Charlie Hanson • 08 September 2021

By Paul Hazlewood
Antef Tsoungui made his professional debut in the win over Cardiff City.

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.

By Paul Hazlewood
The 18-year-old is aiming to maintain his good start to the campaign.

“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.

By Paul Hazlewood
The defender joined Albion in 2018.

“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.”