CHERRIES rising star Brandon Goodship admitted the realisation he was “living the dream” had hit home on the day he once feared would never arrive.

Goodship put an 18-month injury nightmare behind him when he made his Football League debut for Yeovil against Portsmouth on Saturday.

The 21-year-old striker, who has been with Cherries since he was 12, joined the Glovers on loan on Friday and came off the bench during their 1-1 draw.

A host of family and friends – including Cherries team-mate Baily Cargill – were among the crowd at Huish Park to see Goodship win his spurs on an emotional day for the Poole-born youngster.

Goodship, who was raised in Corfe Mullen, sustained a serious knee injury when he caught his heel in a divot during a pre-season friendly for Cherries under-21s in 2014. His problems were compounded after complications had set in following an operation.

He told the Daily Echo: “It was the hardest point in my life so far. There were a lot of days when I would go in and be down-hearted about everything.

“It was tough to deal with some days and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. I was able to get through it with the support of my family and friends.

“I was told I would make a full recovery but I always questioned whether I would come back from it. And, if I did, I always wondered whether it would hinder my chances of going further in the game.

“Fortunately, I was lucky enough to make a full recovery and I feel just as good as I did before it happened.

“I was buzzing when I found out I would be going on loan. I was sitting on the bench and it started to sink in that I was living the dream.

“When the manager told me to get ready, I put on my shirt and realised I was going to make my professional debut. I was nervous but had to concentrate on the job in hand.

“I was on the pitch for about 30 minutes but it seemed to be over in a flash. It was a big game for both teams and emotions were running high.

“In the dark days, it had crossed my mind that it might never happen. But once I had come back from the injury and done all the rehab, I knew all the hard work was going to pay off.

“It was a major milestone for me and a very proud moment for my family. But I know it is just a start. I can’t wait to kick on and prove to everyone what I can do and what I can achieve.”

Yeovil gave Goodship three extra complimentary tickets for his entourage which included former Cherries team-mates Lewis Lindsay and Chad Collins. Mother and father Kim and Martin were joined in the crowd by brothers Scott and Layne, sister Chelsea and her husband Ryan Ross.

Goodship was keen to publicly thank Cherries under-21 boss Stephen Purches and physio Chris Jenkins for their support throughout his rehab.