Omobamidele reflects on whirlwind Premier League debut
- Credit: PA
Andrew Omobamidele's Premier League debut for Norwich City capped off a whirlwind fortnight for the teenager.
The 19-year-old has had a rapid rise through the ranks at City and was thrust into the heat of battle at the Emirates after impressing on the international scene for the Republic of Ireland.
His performance against Serbia drew praise from many Irish greats, including legendary defender Paul McGrath. Few were expecting the defender to be included in the starting XI for the Arsenal game, not least Omobamidele himself.
Daniel Farke only informed the teenager that he was starting at the Emirates just hours before the game in a team meeting on Saturday morning, something that aided his preparation.
“It was amazing when I found out that I was starting. I knew the job at hand and I’m happy that I put in a good performance.
“I was only told I was starting today in the team meeting and it was a mixed bag of emotions but I was excited. It’s better that you find out on the day because I’m not sure I would get enough sleep the night before.
“This is the level that I have always dreamt of playing at and these are the levels of players that I want to be playing against.
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“It’s always been my dream to play in the Premier League. It’s the biggest league in the world."
A first start in the Premier League is the latest milestone in Omobamidele's development.
The centre-back has taken every occasion in his stride, be it a senior debut against Preston, an international debut that saw him face Cristiano Ronaldo or a top-flight debut against Arsenal, he has remained composed throughout.
A move to continue his progression away from Carrow Road was never on the table for Omobamidele, who is considered an important part of Farke's squad.
“That is the thing with Norwich, if you put in the hard work and give 100 percent to the coach then the opportunities will be there.
“Once an opportunity comes, you have to take it because you don’t know when another is going to arrive. If I get another one, then I’ll try my best to take it.
“I played on Tuesday, so I felt I had momentum going into this game," Omobamidele said. "In football, you can get your chance in six months or a year so you always have to be ready."