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Heaton full of pride making Man Utd debut - 19 years after signing first contract

Manchester United goalkeeper Tom Heaton was full of pride after making his Champions League debut in last night's 1-1 draw with Champions League opponents Young Boys.

The 35-year-old goalkeeper made his long-awaited first appearance for the Reds as he came on as a second-half substitute for Dean Henderson in the 65th minute.

Heaton spent his Academy days with the Reds before leaving the club in 2010, going on to become a Premier League goalkeeper for both Burnley and Aston Villa before returning to his boyhood side this summer.

He told MUTV: "You know, the idea of me coming back here was to strive to get into the team. Tonight has been the first opportunity at that. I was hoping it was going to come early but I've been working for a long time for this moment and it was great to be out there tonight.

"It felt great. You know, playing at Old Trafford in front of a capacity crowd, you know, it was always going to be a great feeling," he said.

"Having come here as a visitor, I've always enjoyed it, but today, to wear the home shirt, my first competitive debut was obviously a brilliant moment. I loved every minute of it. But yeah, you cross the white line, the focus is obviously on doing the job. Once that's sort of settled down. Now I have just and appetite for more. You know, I felt great and I want to kick on from here."

Heaton first joined Reds as a trainee all the way back in 2002. 19 years later, he can proudly say he has played for United on what has been a rather unusually long way to make his first appearance for the club.

"Signing as an 11-year-old, you know, coming all the way through... I've been on the bench quite a few times, played a few friendlies, loan spells and I made the right decision to leave to go and play," he said.

"Every move I made since then was to go and play. Coming back here, that didn't change and I know I have to be patient and there's a fantastic goalkeeping department. David's been outstanding this year, Dean's obviously a top goalkeeper as well, Lee Grant, Matej Kovar, you know, it's a top department. But yeah, for me, the drive is playing, I've said that all the way through and that hasn't changed. I've been working day in, day out as I say and it's a first marker for me tonight and I certainly want more of it."


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