Local boys Jerome Williams and Alex Wynter were both delighted as they made their full debuts for Palace on Tuesday night against Bristol City in the Capital One Cup.
The Eagles may have gone down 2-1 to the Robins but the game saw two more academy players graduate to the first-team, and both were delighted to be handed their first starts.
Wynter has previously made an appearance as a substitute in the 2009/10 FA Cup but has since been working hard for the development side, whilst Williams' completed his rapid rise to first-team action having been playing for the academy side earlier this year.
Wynter said: “I found out Tuesday morning just after breakfast. The gaffer arranged a meeting with us and said that I’ll be playing right back that evening.”
Williams couldn’t believe it when he was told the news: “ I was surprised, I didn’t think I was going to start but I prepared right, and was very happy when I heard I was going to start the game.
“I’ve been at Palace for many years now, and my dream was always to play for the first team.”
Despite the Eagles losing 2-1, there were plenty of positives to take from the game, especially with two Oasis Academy graduates being given their first opportunities to shine in the first team.
Both players seemed satisfied with their performances as they spoke about the game, admitting that the occasion was quite daunting and nerve-racking.
19-year-old Wynter said: “I think it’s when you take a walk on the pitch and the fans start coming in just after you go in for the warm up, that’s when it suddenly hits you that you’re actually about to play in a first team game.
“I just wanted to enjoy it and give it my all and have no regrets when I come off the field and that’s what I had.”
Williams, who has been capped for England at U18 level, added: “I just tried to think like I was just playing a normal game for my age group, just another game for me, tried to block out the crowd and everything, and just made sure I stayed composed”
Wynter also spoke about the importance of the older influence within the squad, admitting: “to have Rambo and Neil behind me, it was great they helped me through it, and they said to me just relax, watch the ball onto your foot and treat it like any other game."
The two youngsters are hungry to continue their development and hope to keep getting more opportunities like the one they shared this week.
“Hopefully I just keep on doing what I’m doing, keep working hard, and I’ll get another call up for the first team,” Jerome said, whilst Wynter added: “I want more now, now I’ve had a taste of it I want more now and hopefully get some more opportunities.”