Dream becomes reality for latest Blues rookie

113529_PFC_ROSTOV_05/10/11''Adam Webster. ''Portsmouth FC V FC Rostov at Fratton Park in a charity friendly in memory of those who lost their lives in the Yaroslavl air crash.  ''Picture: Allan Hutchings (113529-841)
113529_PFC_ROSTOV_05/10/11''Adam Webster. ''Portsmouth FC V FC Rostov at Fratton Park in a charity friendly in memory of those who lost their lives in the Yaroslavl air crash. ''Picture: Allan Hutchings (113529-841)
Matty Kennedy. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey 1 Southend 0: They said what

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Adam Webster surveyed his Pompey debut and admitted: It was like a dream come true.

The highly-rated 17-year-old defender came on for his bow in the 75th minute of the defeat to West Ham, with Greg Halford hit by illness this week and unable to get through the game.

Aaron Mokoena’s first-half withdrawal through injury saw Joel Ward revert to defence and saw Erik Huseklepp introduced. But Webster, who has been at the club since the age of 12, got the nod he had been waiting for with 15 minutes left.

He said: ‘I was warming up a lot in the first half because a couple of players had knocks and illnesses, so I wanted to be ready to come on.

‘It’s a dream come true for me to get out there and finally make my debut.

‘I was buzzing to get out there and now I’d love to get out there again as soon as possible.’

The youngster – from West Wittering – who is comfortable playing anywhere across the defence, was an unused substitute at Chelsea last weekend but is now keen to earn his first start for the club.

He said: ‘I didn’t really expect to get on at Chelsea as much as I did this time because I knew a couple of players were struggling.

‘But I’m glad I did.

‘I’d love to get my first start but we will see how the week goes and see what happens. I can’t wait to get back to training and get pushing on again.’

Blues boss Michael Appleton has spoken highly of Webster in recent weeks.

And the teenager also paid tribute to Pompey Academy boss Andy Awford and the more senior players who helped him through.

Webster said: ‘Andy Awford has been a big influence on me.

‘It’s been great to work with him over the past few months. But it also really helps when you have players talking to you.

‘Even on the bench Benjani was talking to me before I went on and then Pearcey (Jason Pearce) was helping me on the pitch.

‘I was really nervous before the game but I got my first touch and I think I settled in after that and did okay.’