TEENAGER Mark Travers hailed his Premier League debut as an “unbelievable experience” after collecting the man-of-the-match award following victory over Tottenham.

The Cherries goalkeeper, who doesn’t turn 20 until later this month, was the unexpected star as he made a string of impressive first-half stops to keep his side level against Spurs.

The tables turned when the visitors were reduced to nine men early in the second half following red cards for Son Heung-Min and Juan Foyth and Cherries eventually found a way through to win 1-0 thanks to Nathan Ake’s stoppage time winner.

Travers, who became the youngest goalkeeper to start a Premier League game since Joe Hart for Man City in 2006, last appeared in a senior match as a loanee for Southern League South Weymouth over a year ago.

Little over two weeks have passed since he was lining up for Cherries under-21s in a friendly defeat against Portsmouth reserves at Canford Park Arena and he admits his Premier League bow came as a surprise.

Travers told the Daily Echo: “It definitely came quicker (than expected) but I’ve been travelling with the first team for the last year and a half now as third choice.

“Every game I went to I’ve just pictured myself playing in the game.

“At a young age it’s come quickly, probably quicker than me and my family expected, but I’m just happy it’s happened so soon.

“You don’t know what can happen in football. That’s what my family always say to me to keep me positive.

“I was playing with the under-21s a few weeks ago against Portsmouth, but it was an unbelievable experience on Saturday.”

While the debut did come somewhat out of the blue, boss Eddie Howe did give Travers the chance to make the occasion all the more memorable.

Born in Kildare, the youngster crossed the sea to join Cherries in 2017 and he revealed that some of his family made the same trip after hearing the news that the goalkeeper would be making his top-flight bow.

“I only found out I would be playing on Friday morning,” said Travers.

“The gaffer pulled me in to let me know that I was starting. It gave me the chance to get my family over.

“My parents came to the game so that was great.

“When I found out, I was just dying to get out on the pitch and buzzing it went well.”

Despite not featuring for the first team until the weekend, it has been a season of landmarks for Travers.

As well as travelling to all the away Premier League trips, he also received his first senior Republic of Ireland call-up by boss Mick McCarthy and was an unused substitute for the March Euro 2020 qualifiers against Georgia and Gibraltar.

Travers said: “It’s been a great season. To top it off with a performance against Tottenham has been great and getting into the Irish first team was great experience as well.

“It gave me the confidence to kick on when I came back to Bournemouth.

“Saturday was an unbelievable day for me. Playing against a side of Tottenham’s calibre was unbelievable and a great experience. Even live on Sky to add to the pressure.

“It was a great day all round and I was delighted it went well and we got the three points as well.”