In pre-season this past summer, one of the Liverpool youngsters who emerged as a name to watch was 18-year-old right back Conor Bradley, with the Northern Irishman acquitting himself well as the Reds began their preparations for the 2021-22 season.
Now, the young defender has taken another step forward in his career, getting a first senior cap for Northern Ireland after coming on as a 68th minute substitute in his country’s 0-0 World Cup qualifier draw against Switzerland on Wednesday evening.
“I am just absolutely buzzing,” Bradley said on Sky following the match. “To get the atmosphere when I came, and I felt like I did well. It is the stuff of dreams. The manager just told me do what I usually do and have no fear of what you’re going into.
“He just gave me loads of confidence to go out and do what I can do, and I really enjoyed it. I am thankful to Ian for giving me the chance. I just prepared for it like it was any other game. I just always get ready [the same way], no matter what it is.”
At Liverpool this season, it’s likely Bradley will be a little down the pecking order at right back, but he’s expected to be given plenty of chances to train with the first team and there could be opportunities for the youngster to feature in the League Cup.
Having made his Northern Ireland debut, it’s also likely he’ll have more chances with his national team, starting in October when they take on the Swiss again and then face Bulgaria in World Cup qualifying, where they’re currently third in Group C.