Teenage rugby star Alex Foster realised a dream this week as he made history and became the first Wetherby Bulldogs prodigy to play in the Super League.
Foster came off the bench for Leeds Rhinos in their 52-36 victory over Widnes Vikings on Sunday evening.
And the 19-year-old forward, who lives in Knaresborough, admitted his shock at the first team call-up.
He said: “It’s absolutely incredible - it is something I have dreamed about ever since I was a youngster.
“To pull on that shirt with your name on the back, it is a dream come true. I was pretty surprised it has come, to be honest.
“With the chats I’ve had with the youth development manager Barrie [McDermott] he said as a forward it might come a bit later, possibly next year or the year after.
“But with the injuries and some of the young lads who’ve come in, I am really happy to have got my debut.”
Foster signed for Leeds at the end of June, 2010, two years - almost to the day - before his debut.He came on for the final 20 minutes of Rhinos’ win at Halton Stadium - a spell when they were continually defending their own line.
“It was a stage in the match when Widnes started to come into their own and we were a bit backs to the wall,” he said.
“They scored a few points just as I came on, but I ‘mglad I came on when I did. I didn’t just want a stroll in the park.
“I want to keep picking my game up. There were some aspects of the game I did all right and some not so good.
“I’ll look to improve on that and keep developing.
“While some of the big names are out hopefully I’ll get another opportunity.
“Big raps to my amateur club Wetherby Bulldogs, they’ve done a lot for me and hopefully this has given them a bit back.”
Bulldogs coach Andy Hunter added: “He’s a great kid, a tough lad.
“ He has fighting spirit which you can’t train.
“All the youngsters aspire to be like him. His name is on our wall in the clubhouse.It’s great to seem him playing and we wish him all the best.”
Bulldogs start pre-season training on Tuesday from 6.30pm on the Ings. Ronnie the Rhino will join Leeds Rhinos players to coach the club’s youngest members on Thursday. The Pups Programme runs from 6-7pm and is aimed at four to seven-year-olds.