Will Forrester earns praise from O’Neill after dream Stoke City debut goal

It’s a day he’ll never forget

Youth graduate Will Forrester made an instant impact on his first team debut, opening the scoring in Stoke City’s 2-0 win over play-off-bound Bournemouth on Saturday.

The 19-year-old joined the club when he was six-years-old and has risen through the youth ranks at the Potters.

And now, not only does he have a senior appearance to his name, he also has a senior goal too.

Boss Michael O’Neill highlighted his performance in the win.

Speaking to the club’s website, he said: “What we saw from the boys on the pitch was brilliant.

“I thought a lot of the young players were excellent.

“Will Forrester came in and had a great debut. I thought (Rabbi) Matondo was terrific, (Jacob) Brown too. The midfield three were brilliant as well.”

Forrester made 15 appearances for the Under-23s this season, netting two times from centre-back.

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He has occasionally shifted into central midfield too, showcasing his versatility.

Forrester now joins fellow centre-backs Nathan Collins and Harry Souttar in completing the journey from the academy system to the first team.

He will be eyeing more first team action next season.


O’Neill happy to end Stoke season with a win

O’Neill was also satisfied with how his side closed out the season.

“The most important thing was that we had the right attitude to the game,” he added.

“I don’t think our attitude has been a problem at all this season in any of the games.

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“But today the desire to win the game was brilliant considering there wasn’t anything at stake for us other than our pride.

“We got another clean sheet which was a bonus and we’ve finished on 60 points. Those were little incentives we had going into the game.”

It was Stoke’s first win in seven games since beating Bristol City away from home on April 2.

The Potters finish the campaign 14th in the Championship – four points and one place better off than last season.

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