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A day to remember for the rest of my life

23 February 2017

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Promising youngster Willem Tomlinson has admitted that Sunday's appearance against Manchester United was 'the proudest moment of his life'.

The 19-year-old midfielder made his senior bow as a second half substitute in the Emirates FA Cup fifth round tie at Ewood Park.

Tomlinson revealed that he was nervous at the prospect of making his first outing for the senior squad, but he was quickly in the thick of the action, including making a memorable tackle on Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

"It was probably the proudest moment of my life," said Tomlinson.

"When the gaffer told me to warm up and said I was coming on, obviously then I was dead nervous and the feeling coming on was probably the best feeling I've ever had. All the fans and the turn out, it was probably the best feeling of my life. 

"But as soon as you get on the pitch you block out all the fans and the big occasion. I blocked it out and there was no pressure on me, because we were 2-1 down, so it felt like I could go on and just be myself.

"Once you get that first pass out of the way, as long as you don't give it away, then you start getting into the game and I don't think I gave the ball away. I was quite safe, but it was good to be composed and just play my own game.

"Just making my debut, in such a big game as well, against one of the best teams in the world, with some of the best players, chasing down (Paul) Pogba and Zlatan (Ibrahimovic) on my first game. It was unbelievable.

"I will remember this for the rest of my life, my debut against Man United. There's not many better games you can make your debut."

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