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28 April 2013

Striker speaks of his delight having scored on his debut for the club with first touch

Nathan Nyafli described his debut goal as a `surreal feeling` after netting with his very first touch for the club in the 3-2 defeat against Burton Albion on Saturday at the Pirelli Stadium.

The centre forward replaced Kane Haysman on 63 minutes, and then got on the end of a Sam Muggleton throw in to open his account for the club less than two minutes later after taking to the field.

Following the game he said it was a great feeling and is keen to kick on next season.

He said: “To score on my debut with my first touch I can’t think of anything better to be honest. It’s a great feeling and a great end to the season and to get chance to play in the first team it’s what I’ve been wishing for really.

“I only knew Friday [that I was in the squad] so it was just a matter of who the gaffer was going to pick to come on and I wanted to play so when I got the nod I was happy to get on.

“It was a good day and I’m a happy person - it was quite literally my first touch and I don’t know if I’ll score another one like that again.

“I just need to work hard and go again next year and try and do my best again. It felt surreal, it felt like I was dreaming and I didn’t know what to do. When I celebrated I didn’t know which way to go!

“The gaffer gives us opportunities and says if we work hard then we will be rewarded. Next season that’s what we have to do again, us youngsters need to push ourselves in to the first team and go from there.

“Last time when I went to Rotherham I was happy to travel, but to be on the bench and to come on felt so good. Everyone just said enjoy it, relax and there is no pressure so go out and express yourselves.

“To even get on to the pitch was a great feeling, but to score was unbelievable.”

Earlier in the season Martin Allen revealed that he had released the striker before changing his mind after believing he made a wrong decision. Nathan said at the time he was disappointed but then worked even harder once hearing his future at the club was secure.

He added: “I was disappointed because I have been working hard all season to become a professional footballer so when he told me I wasn’t getting a new contract I was disappointed but I carried on doing the same things and running during training and he then told me I was getting a contract and I was delighted.

“Since then I have got my head down and worked even harder and now he has given me the opportunity to make my debut.

“That’s a massive change but that’s how Football is and that’s how the game is. One minute you can be down and the next minute up.”

The Manager has put younger members of the team through a rigorous training programme of late which has seen them go running before training and then carry out extra work in the gym, but Nathan says that work has been justified as all players have become fitter and stronger as a result.

He said: “It’s brutal but it benefits us. We are a fit group of lads and in our development games we out run teams when it comes to the last 20 minutes, teams can’t handle us because we are much fitter and stronger.

“It’s all made a difference, I just need to keep my head down and kick on next year. To do that week in, week out is the best feeling and now I want more.”

To watch Nathan’s post match press conference click here.

To read what Martin Allen had to say on the game click here.

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