Nigerian youngster Pascal Onyedika Okoli was thrown into the big clash for his side Bursaspor against Galatarsaray for his dream official league debut in the Turkish top flight Sunday night.
The 19-year-old right back made his much expected bow, coming good but ended up on the losing side as Bursaspor gave up an early lead to lose 2-1 before their fans.
The former Collins Edward Academy of Lagos player replaced right back Baris Yardimci in the 62nd minute to continue his development after making his debut for his side in the 4-0 bashing of lowly Tarsus Idman Yurdu in the cup game last Wednesday.
The young right back told SCORENigeria he showed no nerves in the big clash having been expecting his big break, saying it was no surprise it came this soon.
“I was expecting it because I have been working so hard in the training and my debut in the cup game gave me the confidence I needed,” Okoli beamed.
“I was very happy for the game against Gala, one of the biggest clubs in Turkey and coming up against the top stars was something to proud of.
“I would rate myself a bit high because I knew I did my job well and I thank God for that.”
So good was the youngster that he was selected for interview by the press after the game.
But Okoli said his ambition is to do well and play his way into the Super Eagles where he hopes to hold down the right back position.
Super Eagles’ stars William Troost-Ekong and Mikel Agu, who also put up 90 minute shifts in the night, Okoli said, gave him pass mark.
“My big brothers thumped me up after game and those words encouraged me,” he revealed.
“I’m glad to be in the same team with them and their encouragement has been wonderful.
“I felt bad being on the losing side, but Ekong and Mikel psyched me up and encouraged me to look to the next games.”
The youngster, who signed up for the Turkish side in January 2017 after impressing on trials, which came on the heels of his impressive outings for the academy on the sandy pitch of the National Stadium in Lagos.