Wolves wing-back Ryan Giles celebrated his 19th birthday yesterday by making his competitive debut for the first-team in the 2-2 FA Cup draw with Shrewsbury Town.
Last season’s Academy Player of the Year was rewarded for his outstanding performances for the under-23s this campaign with his first outing for Nuno Espirito Santo’s side.
Although Giles couldn’t help his team to a fourth round victory, he felt he put in a performance which would have pleased the coaching staff.
On making debut on 19th birthday
“It was a very good game to be involved in. It posed something different, and, especially for my development, I can now walk away with this and say to myself that I have gained this experience of being in such a tough game, but also being in a game that’s a bit out of my comfort zone, and was something you wouldn’t come up against usually.
“For that, it’s a win-win situation.
“Before the game I was nervous, but I think when you get out there, you get into it. Straight away from the warm-up you calm your nerves a little bit, but with the support of all the lads it was very good and made me feel a bit calmer.
“It puts the icing on the cake. I think I’ve deserved my opportunity and I’m very grateful for the opportunity that I’ve had, so it’s just a case of keep going, keep working hard and keep trying to improve.
“The experience today has been absolutely amazing. I’ve now got to try and prove to the manager, and all the staff, that I am in a position where I feel like I can compete with the others.”
On the draw with Shrewsbury
“It was a tough game. There was a lot of second balls, first balls, to deal with, a lot of aerial battles, it was very direct.
“The pitch wasn’t as up to standards as it usually is, so that was something that we noticed early, but it was a good challenge, and for the lads to come back the way they did was phenomenal.
“Especially with the crowd on side, when we got the first goal I thought you could see that the desire was there, the motivation to get going again was there, and I think we fully deserved the second goal.
“It was very special. With the fans behind us, it really drove us. It gave us that edge that we needed to make that last kick and to keep working and get what we deserved.”
On individual performance
“I thought I did alright. I thought a couple of times, out of possession, I could have maybe been a bit more compact, maybe helped Romain [Saiss] out a little bit on the left hand side when they were being very direct.
“But I thought I did some good stuff going forward. I put a good cross in for Raul, so I was very happy.
“From a team point of view, to come back from being 2-0 down, to at least stay in the FA Cup, in front of all those fans behind the goal, was a special time.”