The result might not have went the right way but Shane Duffy was delighted to make his Premier League debut for Everton in the 2-0 loss at the hands of Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane.
The Republic of Ireland U-21 international was recalled early from a loan spell at npower League One side Scunthorpe United earlier this month to provide centre-back cover after Phil Jagielka suffered ligament damage. And when Sylvain Distin pulled up injured with 22 minutes left to play on Wednesday night, Duffy was summoned from the bench by manager David Moyes.
Twenty-year-old Duffy, who is from Derry although his father Brian is from Letterkenny, and his Everton teammates could do little to stop Harry Redknapp’s in-form side going level on points with Manchester United in joint-second place thanks to goals from Aaron Lennon and Benoit Assou-Ekotto on the mark.
“It’s a dream come true to come and play in the Premier League,” Duffy said afterwards.
“I prepared in case something did happen, just in case. As soon as I got that call it was excitement and nervousness at the same time. As soon as I got on there I felt comfortable and I just tried to enjoy every moment.
“You can tell the difference in the leagues, you have to be straight on it. The chance I had, I’d usually expect to do a bit better with that, but I was just delighted to get on the pitch and actually make my Premier League debut – that’s a big plus for me.”
Duffy made his professional debut versus AEK Athens in the Uefa Europa League in December 2009, again coming on for the injured Distin. In Everton’s next European fixture, Duffy made his home debut at Goodison Park, completing the full 90 minutes against Bate Borisov, alongside Seamus Coleman. Between then and now Duffy has played on loan at both Burnley and Scunthorpe.