Adam Webster enjoyed a dream debut as his England career got off to a winning start.
The West Wittering youngster was named in Noel Blake’s under-18 line-up against Italy last night.
And he capped the occasion by helping his team to a 2-0 success.
For Webster, it was finally the opportunity to represent his country after Michael Appleton had turned down three previous England approaches.
The arrival of Carl Dickinson on loan freed him up to join Blake’s squad.
It meant, in the setting of Mansfield’s ground, the 17-year-old won his first international cap, playing the full 90 minutes.
And Appleton is delighted with the progress the defender continues to make.
He said: ‘It’s fantastic for Adam and good timing as well.
‘We have been able to bring Carl (Dickinson) in to give that little bit of security where I felt I could do it.
‘I would have dreaded the conversation we would have had to have with Adam where I would have said “you can’t go again”. He is a fantastic lad.
‘I would have felt pretty guilty, despite it being a position I shouldn’t be put in.
‘It was a great opportunity for him to get away for three or four days, get away from everything going on here and get in with a group of players who are the best in the country at his age.
‘I know they think very highly of him, as we do.
‘We have had to play him in games where I shouldn’t have had to play him – and under normal circumstances I wouldn’t have played him.
‘But Adam has dealt with it okay.
‘He is starting to show a bit of maturity about him now, there is so much he needs to learn but he is at the right place to benefit from that.’