rhys shirley swansea

Shirley's first strike

Imagine scoring your first professional goal in front of hundreds of adoring fans.

Now imagine doing it aged 18 and against Sky Bet Championship opposition.

Well, Rhys Shirley doesn’t need to imagine what that must feel like anymore. He has experienced it for real.

Having caught the eye in the under-18s last year and made an impact in the pre-season friendlies, Rhys Shirley is a name that has been a constant on Argyle team sheets so far this campaign.

He made his Pilgrims debut on the opening day of the Sky Bet League One season at Rotherham United, he then made his Home Park bow in the draw with Cambridge United ten days later and now, he has that first senior goal.

Coming on as a second half substitute for Ryan Hardie it took Rhys just six minutes to make his presence felt, ghosting in at the back post to volley home an Adam Randell cross.

Rhys no longer had to imagine what it would feel like to score for his hometown club.

“It’s the best feeling ever, definitely the best feeling ever.” And no-one doubts you Rhys.

It was a classic striker’s goal, right place right time.

He said, “Rands whipped one in and I saw it coming over. I remember thinking ‘ohh this could be coming over here’ and I arrived at the right time and it went in.

“Being able to look up and see all the fans celebrating with me was just really special.”

Rhys’ goal brought Argyle back on level terms with their hosts and at the time the Pilgrims looked the more likely to go on and get the win.

However, Swansea showed their class and scored three late goals to win 4-1 and progress to the third round of the Carabao Cup.

The result though hasn’t taken the gloss of the occasion for Rhys who thanked his family after the game.

He said, “Everything that has happened to me over the last few years is because of them driving me everywhere and being there for me, so it’s a massive thanks to them really.

“Just coming here was a joy anyway to be able to play in a stadium like this but to get a goal here as well made it even better really.”

Well done Rhys, congratulations. Make it the first of many in Green.

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