It was an amazing experience, especially for it to come in such a good atmosphere and playing in front of so many fans gave an extra feeling to the game.Freya Gregory.
The 16-year-old Academy prospect started Sunday’s 3-0 defeat at Brighton & Hove Albion in front of more than 4,000 fans on Women’s Football Weekend.
Marta Tejedor’s bench was also filled with stars of the future due to a long list of injuries but the Regional Talent Club graduate still has her sights set on pushing for a place on the big stage when the first-team regulars return.
And Gregory reckons the support she has from the stars she wants to emulate can only aid that bid, particularly having shaken off 'a lot' of nerves during her bow at the Amex.
“They probably got the better of me in parts of the game but having the team around me and support from the girls really helped,” said Gregory.
“My dad drove down and it was good to have him there for my debut. I only found out I would be playing on the Saturday and the whole family was excited and proud of me.
“It was an amazing experience, especially for it to come in such a good atmosphere and playing in front of so many fans gave an extra feeling to the game.
“Any questions I had got answered before the game, everyone made sure I knew what I would be doing and I had that support in the game. Knowing what my jobs were and that everyone was there to back me was a big boost.
“The jump from Under-21s to First Team football is massive, the physicality showed and you could really tell the difference. The extra fight to get the ball was key and there was more drive in the game, players are more intelligent and read you well.
“Adapting to that was really important and it will take time to get used to but I will keep working at it.
“Pushing into the first team is something I have always wanted, the girls are very welcoming and help you with everything you need.
“There is an extra competitiveness to them but that’s good, it makes you work harder in training because you’re always fighting for your shirt in that environment.
“I hope to become a regular for the first team, whether that’s from the bench when I am needed or starting games. I want to be more consistent and have the chance to perform regularly.”
Gregory’s afternoon was ended early after a spell of treatment having hit the floor with cramp in the second-half.
“It was really painful and probably looked worse than it was, it came out of nowhere but I am fine now,” she added.
Blues are back in action on Sunday 24 November against Chelsea, 2.45pm kick-off.
Tickets are available at £7 for adults, £4 concessions or £18 for families if bought in advance.
Men’s season ticket holders can get half price tickets when you show your card on the gate.