"Just Buffon to beat... it sounds a bit surreal" - Troy Parrott
"You just want more and more."
While the Ireland Under 19s are facing into a European Championships semi-final, a 17-year-old striker that would have definitely started is on the other side of the globe playing against Cristiano Ronaldo, Adrien Rabiot and Miralem Pjanic.
Troy Parrott made his senior Spurs debut against Juventus in the International Champions Cup and acquitted himself well in the 3-2 victory over the Serie A champions. Parrott held the ball up well, had a goal ruled out for offside and forced a save from Gigi Buffon that Erik Lamela scored on the rebound.
Speaking to Spurs TV after the game, Parrott said he enjoyed the experience immensely.
"It was unbelievable to play at such a high level against such good opposition. At the starts nerves kick in but once you start the game you just want to keep going. You don't want to stop. When you get experience at this level you just want more and more."
Fellow Spurs academy player Japhet Tanganga was pitched in from the start, too, and had to deal with the likes of Ronaldo and Mario Mandzukic in his defensive brief. Standing alongside Tanganga, Parrott admitted he had "butterflies" walking out the tunnel to 50,000 fans but 'as soon as you cross that line, it's just another game'.
On his 30th minute involvement in the Lamela goal, which he sparked on the counter from inside his own half, Parrott reflected on what it was like to take on the Italian goalkeeping legend. When Parrott was born, in February 2002, Buffon had already won 25 caps for Italy and would, three months later, win the first of his 11 [two have since been revoked] Serie A titles.
"Just Buffon to beat," Parrott reflected, "it sounds a bit surreal! I just tried to keep it down and it was so close going in, but luckily enough 'Coco' [Lamela] came in on the rebound and scored so, happy days."
— Premier Sports 📺 (@PremierSportsTV) July 21, 2019
As for getting a taste of more first team action, the teenage forward said the fact the Mauricio Pochettino is so willing to give young players a chance 'motivates all of us to keep pushing on and pushing on'.
"Hopefully this can push us all on and hopefully we can just keep going," he added.
Check out the full interview here:
Spurs are in action against Manchester United on Friday, and a possible final if they win that meeting with Los Blancos, before they close out their pre-season with an August 4 clash with Inter Milan.
They open their Premier League season by hosting Aston Villa and Parrott would love to be involved in that match-day squad.