Swansea’s Jack Evans said he was ready to earn boss Steve Cooper’s trust – and eat cake – after making his first-team debut following cancer treatment.
Wales Under-21 midfielder Evans, 21, was diagnosed with cancer last year but it went into remission in February.
Evans replaced Tom Carroll for the final 17 minutes of Wednesday’s 6-0 Carabao Cup win against Cambridge.
“It was amazing, I can’t describe the feeling,” he said. “At some points I didn’t think it would happen.”
Evans joined Swansea’s youth set-up when he was eight years old and is the latest of an ever-growing list of players to progress to the first team.
“It’s always amazing making your debut but it helped that I’ve played with loads of the players before,” he said.
“The team is a perfect blend and it helps people come through and do as well as they can.
“I’ve got to keep improving and show I deserve another chance to get out there.”
Evans said he had a “long way to go” to earn Cooper’s trust but added: “Games like that help me do that. I’ll have a chocolate fudge cake to celebrate but then it’s straight back to training.”
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Evans’ fellow youth-team products Daniel James, Joe Rodon and George Byers were all first-team debutants last season, and Evans has followed defender Ben Cabango in breaking through under Cooper.
“He needs singling out because it was the best message of the evening,” said Cooper.
“We’ve got a boy who has been in a dark place, fought back, and to see him go out on the pitch tonight we were all very proud of him.
“All I’ve seen since I’ve arrived is a kid desperate to do well regardless of what has gone on in his life and the debut was a reward for that, and I hope there are many more for him.”