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Donaghy: It was a dream come true when I came on

12 October 2023


Donaghy: It was a dream come true when I came on

12 October 2023

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We spoke to young goalkeeper Tom Donaghy after he made his debut on Tuesday evening against Wigan Athletic, a game in which he made two penalty saves in, and he was buzzing after the fact!

Donaghy, who is a regular starter for the Under-21s in the Professional Development League, was thrown into the action in midweek after Jay Lynch picked up an injury midway through the second half and the 20-year-old relished every moment.

With the game finishing 3-3, and it being the EFL Trophy, it was an odd occurrence for any player's debut as it resulted in a penalty shootout, which must have been an odd thing to go through the ‘keepers mind in his first game, but Tom was the star of the show!

Not only did he deny Callum Lang, who took the first spot kick for the Latics on the night, but he also managed to stop set-piece specialist Tom Pearce’s effort from 12 yards, but it couldn’t quite be capped off with the win, but it was a great experience for Tom.

Here’s what Tom had to say after his debut:

On making his debut for Fleetwood...

“It was a dream come true, coming on tonight, as it’s every player’s dream growing up to make their professional debut and as soon as Lynchy [Jay Lynchy] went down, I was more than ready to come on. It’s class, making your debut at a place like Wigan away; I came for a few crosses and that helped with my confidence so that helped me just grow into the game.

“Vels [Josh Vela] tapped me on the shoulder and said to watch out as Lynchy was holding his ankle so that helped me be ready for the moment he went down. Of course, it was my debut, so you naturally are a little bit nervous, but his words definitely helped and as soon as I got on the pitch, it felt like it was just another game.

“That was a proud moment for me and my family, funnily enough, my mum and dad are on holiday at the minute so they couldn’t come to the game, but I’ve already had a few messages from family and friends congratulating me on the debut and that really expressed that this is a dream come true.”

On his double penalty save in the shootout...

“You just want to be the hero, that’s what you think about as a goalkeeper – I was just buzzing, it was class. You feel as if it’s a win-win as a keeper in a shootout as, if you make a save or two, you’re the hero, but if you concede a few, you can brush them off as the next kick happens straight away.

“Fonners [Owain Fon Williams] just told me before I went on to be myself, play my own game, and relax. I was given a water bottle with notes on a few players, but some had already gone off, but the other I just had an inkling about and went with my instincts really.

“It’s pure emotion when you know you’ve got a hand to one, it’s hard to describe what you actually feel like as you are just buzzing off the adrenaline. The coaching staff congratulated me after the shootout, and told me I look the part, so that was a great feeling for me personally.”

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