Young Nottingham Forest defender Joe Worrall says he thought it was a joke when he was told he’d be facing Everton in the Emirates FA Cup.
The centre back joined Dagenham and Redbridge last Thursday, two days before the League Two side’s third-round trip to Goodison Park.
And Worrall couldn’t believe what he was hearing when Dougie Freedman took him to one side.
The centre back said: “The gaffer told me I was playing on Saturday – not for Forest, for Dagenham. Then he said it’s against Everton. I thought he was joking.
“It’s one of those isn’t it? A childhood dream – to play against a Premier League team, especially on your debut.
“Everton didn’t mess about. They played a lot of top-class players. I think they had something like 76% possession, and they had so many corners. But I think that’s a decent reflection on us because we got a lot of blocks and clearances in.
“I thought I was solid enough. There wasn’t a lot I could have done with the goals and I got five or six headers in, one which I flicked away from Arouna Kone.”
Worrall played the full 90 minutes as the Daggers slipped to a 2-0 defeat, but now he and his team-mates must turn their attentions to moving away from the League Two relegation zone.
He said: “It’s nice to go to a team that really needs you to help their cause. Dagenham have only been around for 24 years and I think staying in the league would be big for the club’s future.
“I’d like to think I’ll be able to stay at Dagenham for a little while longer than the initial month. I’ve got faith in my own ability.
“We’ve got a few decent games coming up after my month has finished: Mansfield at Field Mill and Notts at Meadow Lane. If I can get my loan extended, they’re the games I’m aiming for.”
Supporters can read the full interview with Worrall in tomorrow night’s matchday programme.