'Dream come true' for Wolves debutant Dion Sanderson
Wolves youngster Dion Sanderson said it was a dream come true to make his first senior appearance for the club.
Local lad Sanderson came on in the 62nd minute of the 4-0 Premier League Asia Trophy victory over Newcastle United in Nanjing yesterday.
He replaced Adama Traore at right wing-back and enjoyed a productive cameos with plenty of nice touches.
Sanderson is from Wednesfield and the nephew of Olympic gold medallist javelin thrower Tessa Sanderson.
After his senior bow the 19-year-old admitted there'd been a few nerves – but he was delighted with how it went.
"I loved every second of it," he told the Express & Star. "It was a great experience. I'm a home town lad, a local boy playing for Wolves, I didn't want it to end.
"I've had loads of messages from my friends and family already. I'm just happy to hear it from my mum and dad, all the times they've taken me to training and wasted petrol on me!
"It's a dream come true."
Wolves coasted through the second half after racing into a 3-0 half-time lead.
Right-sided defender or wing-back Sanderson said he appreciated the guidance of some of the team's more senior members including Ryan Bennett, who had a word with him after he came on as a sub.
"I was a bit nervous, it was a big stadium, a lot of fans and it was my debut," he said. "I had a few nerves when I was coming on but when I got a touch of the ball it felt normal and right.
"Ryan said to relax, what to do and not to do, play it safe. Him and Conor (Coady) have helped me a lot, playing as a right wing-back or a centre half, they've given me loads of advice.
"I thought I played a good game, I was just happy to get on.
"It was tough in the conditions but you've got to adapt. You've got to manage yourself – you can't just be going out and sprinting around, you need to understand when you can make the run or when you've got to wait and go and press."
Sanderson is one of several young Wolves players looking to impress boss Nuno Espirito Santo out in China, with plenty of gaps in the first-team squad currently available.
The teenager, who has been with Wolves since the age of nine, said there was a clear incentive to impress.
"There's a pathway, there are opportunities, there are under-18s here as well as under-23s so hopefully we can get some minutes," he added.
"Everything's positive at the moment.
"It gives us an incentive and keeps us hungry in training, you always want to impress.
"I'll keep my feet on the ground, stay humble and stay hungry."