Professional Game Academy prospect Olivia Fraser made club history by appearing in London City’s 3-2 win over Watford on 3 September.
“I literally couldn’t believe it at all,” the 18-year-old said of the moment she found out that her professional debut was minutes away.
"I was so grateful to the coaches for the opportunity and everyone was nice and helpful when I came on. It was crazy, I really just couldn’t believe it.”
Fraser, a versatile central midfielder, only joined London City’s player pathway this summer and made history by becoming the first Professional Game Academy (PGA) talent to feature in the Barclays Women’s Championship.
The Englishwoman replaced Jamaica international Izzy Groves in the final fifteen minutes against Watford, with the Pride defending a slender, one-goal advantage at Princes Park.
It was quite the turnaround for Fraser, who suffered an injury in preseason and faced a race to return to fitness to be ready for the start of the academy season.
“I was injured three weeks ago, so it’s pretty crazy that things can change that quickly,” she explained, "I never would have thought something like this would happen so fast, if at all.”
Fraser played an important role as London City slammed the door shut on the Hornets in the final minutes of play, helping the team stand strong in the face of repeated waves of pressure from the visitors.
Hundreds of miles to the north, the Pride’s first-team debutant was being cheered on by a busload of her academy teammates.
"They were on the coach back from a match against Manchester United and they were all watching the first-team game together,” Fraser said of her teammates’ reaction to her debut.
“Apparently, they all screamed when I came on. They’re all really supportive, so it was great.”
While the agile playmaker is still at the very start of her football career, the future appears to be bright for a young player with wisdom beyond her years.
Looking ahead to the rest of the academy season, Fraser added: “I think we have so much to build on, we’ve got such a good core and we have the ability to be successful. We just need to gel together a little bit more and I think we’ll do really well after that.”
The Pride return to Princes Park on Sunday [10 September], hosting Reading in the Barclays Women's Championship.
With tickets selling quickly, don't miss out!