Published: 18:40, 02 October 2017
Finn O’Mara’s disappointment at missing out on an FA Cup game for Folkestone was soon forgotten when he stepped out at Ewood Park for the Gills.
He was recalled from a loan spell at Folkestone a day before their big FA Cup third qualifying round tie against Aylesbury United.
O’Mara has been enjoying his loan spell, which was only recently extended for a further month.
But injuries at the Gills meant he was needed as a substitute at Blackburn and when Mark Byrne tweaked his hamstring with 20 minutes left, O’Mara got the nod.
“It was a weird one,” said the 18-year-old, who was quickly in the thick of the action.
“I was told I was being recalled for the game on Friday and I was chuffed, but I was also wishing I played in the (FA Cup) game.
“But now I have made my debut it made up for it. I am over the moon.”
He was faced with the threat of Blackburn supersub Harry Chapman, a lively left-winger. Within minutes Chapman had taken a dive following a challenge from O’Mara.
“I never touched him,” said O’Mara afterwards and the referee agreed, cautioning the Rovers man for what Gills interim boss Peer Taylor described as a “rascal dive.”
It was certainly a brutal introduction to life as a pro.
“I was a bit nervous,” he admitted. “But I thought I grew into the game a bit better.
“There were a couple of times I dived into (challenges) but I will go over the footage with Peter Taylor and the coaching team and see what I can do better. I just had so much energy. I thought I did okay.”
It was certainly a different weekend than he had been planning, with Folkestone playing in front of 400-odd fans.
“It is just a tad different,” he joked, after appearing in front of 10,000. “I said I am sorry to Folkestone (for not being able to play) but it wasn’t my decision.”