SAINTS youngster Lewis Payne declared it “a dream” to hear supporters chant ‘he’s one of our own’ at him while making his first-team debut.
The 18-year-old defender, who joined Saints as a schoolboy at under-11 level, was given a start by manager Ralph Hasenhuttl on his first appearance for the senior side.
Payne played 75 minutes of the 3-0 win over League One Cambridge United in the EFL Cup second round, forced off only at the end by a severe bout of cramp.
As the youngster made his way around the side of the pitch, the travelling supporters made clear what they thought of his first efforts, chanting: “Lewis Payne, he’s one of our own.”
Speaking to club media about his debut, which occurred just over a month ago now, Payne admitted: “I got a message two days before and I was excited enough to even be travelling.
“Then the day before I found out I was starting. Of course there were nerves, obviously you’re going to be nervous as it was a first start for the first-team and it’s a big moment. But there was more excitement than nerves.”
He added: “It was a dream, something you dream of as a kid hearing the fans chant you’re one of their own. I came off with cramp and that was disappointing, but that made it all worth it.”
It was not a perfect evening for Payne though, with only one of his parents able to fly back into the country and watch the momentous occasion!
“My dad came back from America and flew back that day to watch the game,” Payne revealed. “But my mum was in France and couldn’t make it back.
“She was disappointed, but luckily my dad was there.”
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