MIDFIELDER Stuart Dallas insists he keeping his “feet on the ground” in spite of making his debut in Brentford’s victory over Crawley Town in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy on Tuesday night.
The Northern Ireland international was in action for his former club Crusaders 24 hours later, appearing in Colin Coates’ testimonial game.
And the 21-year-old delighted the home fans by bagging a brace in a light-hearted 3-2 win over Huddersfield Town at Seaview.
Bees boss Uwe Rosler, the former Manchester City striker, handed Dallas his big chance on Tuesday, which has whetted his appetite for first team action.
“It was great to make my debut Crawley,” said the former Coagh United player.
“It was a good game to start – in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.
“I had been on the bench quite a lot in recent games, so it was a relief to get a bit of action, although I have had a lot of game time with the reserves to help improve my match fitness.
“We won 1-0, so it was nice to make a winning start.”
Dallas is enjoying his new lifestyle adding: “I didn’t find it all that difficult to gel into a new way of life. I’ve settled in quickly – and I wouldn’t say I missed home at all.
“I’ve kept in contact with everyone and I’ve had plenty of friends come across to visit. I’ve recently moved into a new apartment, just 10 minutes from training and 15 minutes from the ground, so it couldn’t be better.
“I knew it was going to take a bit of time before I made my breakthrough to the first team. I thought if anything happened before Christmas, it would be a bonus.
“It is great to be involved with the first team, visiting different grounds and seeing how other clubs operate. It’s a great experience. Making my debut on Tuesday night was big lift for me.
“It’s obviously a big difference from the Irish League. Games are played at a faster pace – they are also more physical. But the full time training helps you reach the standard required.”
Dallas was also thrilled to be back at his former home for Coates’ big night.
He added: “I was thrilled to be involved in Colin’s testimonial game. He has been a magnificent servant to Crusaders and he deserved his big occasion. He could go on for another 10 years.”