As far as goals go, Jordan Rossiter's first may have had a hint of good fortune to it, rolling sedately from forty yards out, past two defenders and an out of position goalkeeper, to settle in the back of the goal. That was hardly going to dampen the player's excitement, though, or that of fans watching the local 17-year-old start his senior career with a bang.
"I can't remember exactly what I was thinking at the time," said the Academy midfielder when asked about making his senior debut—and scoring on it. "Just make good contact.' I was half thinking about [trying to] go over them, but luckily I didn't. I can't put it into words. When I scored, I didn't know what to do. I just ran off celebrating, but it was a great experience."
Though Rossiter grew up in a family that supported Everton, he joined Liverpool at the age of six and has been working his way up through the ranks ever since. In recent seasons, he has been increasingly identified as one of the brightest future talents currently at the club. Now, even those who don't make a habit of following the academy will have been made aware of him.
The flair and goals of attackers like Jerome Sinclair, Jordon Ibe, and Sheyi Ojo can sometimes grab the attention, but amongst Liverpool's academy players, none seems more likely to join Raheem Sterling regularly in future starting elevens than Rossiter. That day, though, is still likely to be a few years away, and so the youngster is trying to keep his feet on the ground.
"To make my debut was a dream come true," he said, clear excitement mixing with a desire to not let himself get too far ahead of things. "I got told I was starting on Monday and I was a bit shocked to be honest. I just couldn't wait to get out there and it couldn't have gone better. I know personally that this is just the start, that I've got to keep my feet on the ground.
"The manager told me I had done well, and I need to keep on improving and to stay in and around the first team—while improving with the u21s week in and week out. I'm still a long way from being in the first team. I'm still only 17."
- Watch: Adam Lallana v. Middlesbrough
- Liverpool 2, Middlesbrough 2 (14-13 pens): Liverpool Win in Marathon Penalty Shooutout
- Rumour Mongering: Sterling to Real Madrid Some Day Probably
- Liverpool 2, Middlesbrough 2 (14-13 Pens): Rank the Performances
- Win Over Middlesbrough Highlights Importance of Academy