A FORMER academy player at The New Saints made his professional debut for Championship side Blackburn Rovers on Saturday.

Jack Vale was brought on for the Lancashire side in the 78th minute of a close game at home against Reading.

The 19-year-old relished the opportunity to show off his talent, and came close to scoring a dream debut goal with an effort from inside the 18-yard-box with minutes left on the clock, but his strike rattled the crossbar.

But it was still a day to remember for the Wrexham-born attacker, who helped his side see out a closely-fought game to win 4-3.

Rovers supporters were full of praise for the youngster on Twitter after watching his performance, with one saying: “Love Jack Vale. Watched the under-23s a few times and this is the boy who has stood out for me."

Rovers manager, Tony Mowbray was also pleased with Vale’s performance, and described him as ‘a wonderful talent who has the fastest feet’.