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Season ticket to the pitch for West Brom fan Zac Ashworth

He put his hand in his pocket to buy an Albion season ticket at the start of the season.

 Zac Ashworth of West Bromwich Albion and Danny Drinkwater of Reading  during the Sky Bet Championship match between Reading and West Bromwich Albion at Select Car Leasing Stadium on April 30, 2022 in Reading, England. (Photo by Adam Fradgley/West Bromwich Albion FC via Getty Images).
Zac Ashworth of West Bromwich Albion and Danny Drinkwater of Reading during the Sky Bet Championship match between Reading and West Bromwich Albion at Select Car Leasing Stadium on April 30, 2022 in Reading, England. (Photo by Adam Fradgley/West Bromwich Albion FC via Getty Images).

But rather than watching the action, Zac Ashworth is now playing for his beloved Baggies after making his league debut in the win at Reading.

The full-back, who earned a call-up to the Wales under-21 squad earlier this season, replaced the injured Conor Townsend at half-time during the 1-0 win at the Madjeski Stadium.

And the 19-year-old went on to catch the eye with boss Steve Bruce describing his display as ‘excellent.’

Now Ashworth, who is the son of former Albion technical director Dan, is hoping he will feature again when the Baggies face Barnsley on Saturday in the final game of the season.

And he admits making his league debut last weekend was a dream come true.

“I loved it to be honest,” Ashworth Jnr said.

“We were away from home and to get three points and a clean sheet was exactly what I wanted when I came on.

“I saw Conor go down injured and I was thinking whether I would come on or whether it would be someone else.

“The gaffer could have gone with someone with much more experience, but thankfully he gave me the nod and put his trust in me.

“He didn’t have to do that so I am really grateful for that trust.

“I had a word with myself at half-time when I found out I’d be coming on and told myself it’s just another game of football.

“I came on and we managed to go and win the game in the second half which was brilliant. It was the perfect day for me.

“I’m a West Bromwich Albion fan and I’ve supported the club since I was a kid, so it was a dream come true.”

Ashworth was pleased with how he performed in Berkshire.

But he said Adam Reach and Kyle Bartley were a huge support – with both those players helping to guide him through the game.

“I have been in and around first-team training now for quite a bit of the season and I was hoping a chance in the league would come,” the teenager continued. “I’ve been working towards it all season.

“All the boys have been brilliant but Conor (Townsend) and Reachy in particular – with them playing in the same position as me, they’ve been great.

“Every day they are there to talk to and offer advice.

“I played with Reachy in the second half at Reading and he guided me through the game.

“The same with Barts (Bartley) just inside me.

“It’s great to have those guys around and, they help out a lot.”

As well as 2,000 Albion fans, Ashworth was cheered on by some familiar faces at Reading. “Thankfully my dad and my girlfriend were there to watch me,” the defender added.

“My dad has done so much for me. It was a proud moment for him, for me and my whole family.

“It was a great moment and a start for me.

“And now we’ll see what happens over the summer and in pre-season.

“Hopefully, there are some more opportunities to come.

“Fingers crossed, Conor’s injury is nothing too serious and he is okay.

“But if I’m called upon at Barnsley I’ll be ready to go.”

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