Hemel Hempstead’s Harry Winks has revealed his delight after making his senior debut for Tottenham Hotspur in their Europa League clash against Partizan Belgrade.
The former Cavendish School pupil came on as a sub in the 87th minute to replace Brazil international Paulinho for the final minutes of the game, which ended in a 1-0 win for Spurs and saw them progress in the competition.
The 18-year-old has been knocking on the door of the senior Tottenham team recently, and he was overjoyed with his run-out on the White Hart Lane turf.
“This was by far the best moment of my life so far,” said Winks. “It’s a dream come true to play for Spurs. Five minutes or 50 minutes; I didn’t really mind as long as I got on which was brilliant.”
Despite his tender age, Winks was by no means overwhelmed by the situation, and got in a few nice touches during his brief stint on the pitch.
“I was just thinking to myself ‘go on and enjoy it.’ I wasn’t nervous, I wasn’t scared; I just wanted to go on and play,” he said. “It felt natural and I loved every minute of it.”
Winks’ introduction into the game was somewhat of a gamble for Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino, with his side protecting a slender lead. However, the youngster did not look out of place.
“The manager just told me to go on, work hard, run about, and get myself into the game,” said Winks. “I just thought that the best thing to do was to run about and press and if I got a touch, it would be brilliant. So I’m really happy with it.”
Winks is a big Spurs fan, and says his inclusion in the first team squad comes as a result of plenty of hard work.
“It means everything to me,” he said. “We work so hard to get the opportunity, so it’s massive for us. As I say, it’s a dream come true for me to go out there and play, especially for the team I support.”
Despite his ever-growing reputation, level-headed Winks says he is keeping his feet firmly on the ground.
“I can’t get carried away with it,” he added . “It’s brilliant now, but tomorrow I’ve got to forget about it and work hard to nail myself into the first team squad more often.”