Fulham forward Jay Stansfield says making his Premier League debut last weekend was ‘a great feeling’ – and he is already targeting more top flight action.
The nineteen year-old striker replaced Neeskens Kebano towards the end of the Whites’ goalless draw with Wolves on Saturday and showed both his desire and versatility by making an immediate impression despite being asked to play out of position on the right wing. Stansfield, who scored his first senior goal in the League Cup at Birmingham last season, has impressed head coach Marco Silva over the summer and has been included in both league matchday squads this term.
The fact that Silva turned to Stansfield, a regular goalscorer at youth level since joining Fulham from Exeter City where his late father Adam quickly became a cult hero, was not a surprise but it still felt surreal. He told the club’s official website:
“It was a great feeling. It’s what you dream of as a kid, and then for it to come true, I’ve got no words to describe it really. I had my family in the Fulham end and they were obviously happy to be there when I made my debut, so that was nice.
When I was a little kid I always used to come home from school and only want to watch football on the TV. Then on Saturdays and Sundays that was all I wanted to watch on TV, so to come on in the Premier League – something I used to watch – is just a dream come true.”
He was modest about his own impact on what became a gripping contest in the closing stages.
“I thought I did alright. It was quite hard to get into the game as it was end to end. They probably had the upper hand on us towards the end so it was quite hard to get into a flow, but I thought I did alright with the jobs I had to do. Obviously it was a dream come true coming on, but I think it’s a platform to build on now.
I’ve set the standards for myself and I have to be hungry if I want more of those opportunities, because I want to play at the highest level possible. Hopefully I can get more minutes to be able to come on and show what I can actually do.”
Stansfield already has an eye on the prospect of influencing Saturday’s local derby against Brentford.
“If the opportunity came along I’d grab it with two hands because there’s no better environment than to be able to come on in the Premier League and show everyone at Craven Cottage what you can do. They had a good result on the weekend, but we had a good performance too and could have got the win. It’s a local derby and a good chance to be able to push and get our first three points.”