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Cherries: Josh's joy after a surprise debut
TEENAGE midfielder Josh Carmichael admitted his unexpected debut for Cherries had been “a dream come true”.
The 16-year-old, who was nicknamed Schuey at school due to his resemblance to Formula One legend Michael Schumacher, was a surprise inclusion on the team-sheet for Cherries’ League One encounter at Exeter City on Saturday.
And he won his spurs earlier than anticipated when he was thrust into the fray as a replacement for injured Nathan Byrne three minutes before half-time.
Poole-born Carmichael, who had been expecting to turn out for the youth team at Oxford, showed some assured touches and played his part in a deserved win at St James’s Park.
Carmichael, who has been capped by Scotland under-16s, is just two months into a two-year scholarship with Cherries having joined the club when he was 10.
He told the Daily Echo: “It was unbelievable. I have been training with the first team now and again and the manager gave me my chance on the bench. I only found out on Friday.
“I was quite surprised because I slept really well on Friday night. It was a great experience to be involved and I didn’t really think I would get on. I was absolutely buzzing when I got the call.
“It went okay. I was really nervous to start with and gave away a few passes. But the other lads told me to stay calm and were brilliant with me. They couldn’t have helped me any more.”
Carmichael had a number of family and friends among the crowd, including father Ian and uncle Jason. However, one of his staunchest supporters, his grandfather Alex, missed his big moment as he was on business in China.
Cherries boss Lee Bradbury said: “Josh got his chance and grabbed it with both hands. I was very pleased with him.
“He has joined us in training a few times and has impressed me with his attitude and how he handles the ball so I thought it would be good opportunity to get him involved.
“He has got a good head on his shoulders and is quiet and unassuming. But he goes about his work in a diligent manner. I knew he would be good enough to do a job and he did fantastically well.
“He is composed on the ball and has got a lot of good attributes. He is big enough to be able to deal with first-team football and he showed that with an excellent performance.”
Carmichael, who turns 17 later this month, is the third youth teamer to have played for the first team this season, following in the footsteps of Jayden Stockley and Elliot Ward.
Stockley became the second youngest player to represent the club in the league when he came off the bench against Chesterfield in October 2009. Jimmy White, who was 15 years and 321 days when he faced Port Vale in April 1958, is the youngest.
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