Finally a Football League bow arrived for Alex Bass.
A deserved outcome for the ever-patient keeper, especially after a potential debut at Bury the previous week was scuppered by injury.
To finally get out there was a dream, the fans were brilliant and a clean sheet as well was a cherry on topAlex Bass
Saturday’s visit of Peterborough marked the League One season finale for the Blues – and a landmark for the player who turned 20 earlier in the week.
Bass was aged 16 years, four months and two days when first involved with the first-team as a non-playing substitute against Peterborough in August 2014.
He subsequently featured twice in cup matches – and a hefty 76 times as an unused league substitute.
However, on Saturday, Bass was handed a start against Peterborough in place of Luke McGee, helping Pompey to a 2-0 victory which secured an eighth-placed finish.
And the youngster who has been on Fratton Park books for six years was delighted to finally earn the first-team opportunity he craved.
Bass said: ‘To finally get out there in front of the fans was a pleasure.
‘I picked up an ankle injury the previous week on the Tuesday and didn’t return until a few days ago (Thursday).
‘The gaffer had pulled me and said there was a chance I could have played at Bury, so I was gutted to have picked up the injury.
‘There was a chance of starting, not really certain, there was talk of it, not a definite.
‘I still travelled to Bury and tried it out in the warm-up but really didn’t feel comfortable on it at all, I couldn’t get onto anything other than a fast walk and there was no chance of me playing on it.
‘I spoke to the gaffer and it was “Look, I’m not feeling great, it’s not 100 per cent, but if you need me I will happily go on and try my best”, that was all I could do.
‘However, it felt a lot better on Thursday and I strapped up and got through the game against Peterborough. To finally to get out there in front of the fans was a pleasure.
‘I first went on the bench at 16 and it was an early baptism at Fratton Park. So to finally get out there was a dream, the fans were brilliant and a clean sheet as well was a cherry on top.
‘In January with Stephen Henderson coming in, it was a shame he got injured as there was a chance I would go out on loan.
‘Personally I didn’t think my chance was going to come this season – but thankfully it did.’
Bass is among a number of Pompey players out of contract at the end of June.
During the next two days, the Blues’ playing squad will meet Kenny Jackett individually to learn whether they have a future at Fratton Park.
The club possess an option on the goalkeeper, allowing them to retain his services for another 12 months.
Bass remains highly-regarded by the club he progressed into the first-team frame through the Academy set-up.
And he revealed he is keen to stay with the Blues as he seeks to develop his promising career further.
Bass added: ‘We have meetings this week, so I will see the gaffer and see what he has to say.
‘I am happy here, I don’t live too far, I’m happy to stay at the club.’