Boyhood Tranmere fan Mikey Davies realised his dream when making his first team debut in The Bristol Street Motors Trophy.
The competition has been much maligned by many football fans – at least until their club reaches the latter stages – since Premier League U21 sides first entered the competition in 2016.
But it provides is an opportunity for managers to rotate their starting lineups and give valuable minutes to fringe players and youngsters.
Academy starlet Davies signed his first professional contract this summer and he was given his first chance to shine as Rovers faced Wigan Athletic in a group stage match at Prenton Park last month.
🤩 One of our own!
— Tranmere Rovers FC (@TranmereRovers) November 14, 2023
Tranmere runs in the Davies family. As a boy, Mikey used to travel to watch Rovers’ games with his father. Now 19 years old and playing for his boyhood club, Davies still travels up and down the country to attend games and cheer on the Whites even when he is not included in the matchday squad.
Been a while since I've been an away game took my oldest two lads we lost oh well !
Tranmere till I die ! 💙🤍 pic.twitter.com/1umv0rE9H7
— Mike Davies (@MikeDav12572565) October 24, 2023
He said: “It (making my debut) was an amazing experience. It’s something I’d always dreamt of growing up, as Tranmere are my boyhood team”.
The youngster had spent two years studying for his BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma in Sports Coaching and Development while also having daily coaching sessions with club staff before signing his first professional deal.
Davies said: “Tranmere means a lot to me, from being there at a young age in the academy to being a fan travelling home and away”.
The competition for a starting place at left-back is fierce, with the club recruiting multiple personnel in that position and leaving new manager Nigel Adkins with a wealth of options.
At Tranmere’s Solar Campus training ground, players such as Connor Wood and Jake Leake aim to impress the manager, and even right-back Dan Pike has been trusted to play on the opposite flank at times this season.
Davies is part of this group of players who are vying to make the left-back spot their own.
Reflecting on the Wigan game, Davies said: “The game was really good for me to see where I’m at and what I need to improve on”.
After being introduced as a half-time substitute, Davies immediately had to get to grips with talented wide players Callum McManaman and Jonny Smith. He added: “It was a good test against two very good wingers.
“This season is huge for me. Learning from older lads like Connor Jennings is amazing for me and my development”.