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Last Updated: Sunday, 28 May 2006, 11:41 GMT 12:41 UK
Bale savours record Wales debut
Wales left-back Gareth Bale
Bale looked accomplished in attack and defence on his Wales debut
Gareth Bale says he has been living a "dream" after earning his Southampton debut and becoming Wales' youngest international in just six weeks.

Bale, 16, enjoyed a fairytale first cap on Saturday when he set up Wales' late winner against Trinidad & Tobago.

"I wasn't expecting all this this year. I'm proud and so are my parents obviously. I just want to build on it from here," Bale told BBC Wales Sport.

"I enjoyed every minute. It's a great feeling to have an assist on my debut."

Despite playing only 180 minutes of first-team football, Bale had shown enough ability in training last week to convince Wales manager John Toshack he was mature enough to handle international football.

It was exciting just warming up on side and I was just wishing I could get on

Wales left-back Gareth Bale

And with Saturday's friendly with Trinidad & Tobago fizzling out to a low-key draw, the timing was perfect for Bale to come off the bench at left-back.

The move that led to Wales' unlikely goal was about the only time they managed to string a few passes together in the attacking third all second half.

With encouragement from Toshack to get forward, Bale played a one-two with Earnshaw before delivering a perfect low front-post cross which the Norwich striker converted for his second of the night.

Before the game, Wales stand-in captain Danny Gabbidon had compared Bale to Wayne Rooney in showing maturity way beyond his years.

And the Cardiff-born teenager showed no signs of nerves when he come on aged just 16 years and 315 to break Lewin Nyatanga's three-month old record.

Bale said: "Thankfully the match was going alright for us and it wasn't too quick a pass so I got my chance to come on.

"It was exciting just warming up on side and I was just wishing I could get on. Thankfully I came on and I managed to set one up.

"It's been a new experience for me being around all the big players. It feels like a dream come true."

SEE ALSO
Wales 2-1 Trinidad & Tobago
27 May 06 |  Internationals


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