Connor Chapman says the opportunity to face Manchester United was a surreal experience.
His brief cameo off the bench may have lasted a touch under seven minutes, but Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets defender Connor Chapman has described the opportunity to play against Manchester United in front of 83,000 people as a surreal experience he-ll never forget.
Chapman came on as an 84th minute substitute for the Foxtel A-League All Stars in Saturday night-s sold-out friendly match at ANZ Stadium.
The 18-year-old said the opportunity to play on such a big stage was something he would cherish for the rest of his career.
“It was a great experience and that-s what I was here for,” Chapman said.
“It was great to be out there in front of 83,000 people and to be able to play against some legends like Robin van Persie and go up against players like that was unbelievable.
“It was just so surreal having those types of players so close to you.
“Usually you only see them on the TV, but to have them standing next to you was the most surreal part and it was very enjoyable.”
Chapman said some advice from A-League All Stars coach Ange Postecoglu helped him not to be overawed by the experience.
“Ange was really good and just told me to go out there and enjoy myself and not worry about anything,” Chapman said.
“I was a little bit nervous when I actually got on the field and got on the ball and that, but by that time there wasn-t really any pressure.”
Postecoglu meanwhile was full of praise for the promising youngster and the way he carried himself throughout the week leading up to the match.
“I was really impressed with Connor at the World Youth Cup and I know that Paul Okon thinks highly of him,” Postecoglu said.
“I brought him in to give him some experience. I-m sure he would have got a lot out of it.
“He got some game time and I guess he also got a taste of what the best in the world look like and play like.”
Chapman said the time he spent in camp with the A-League All Stars squad would hold him in good stead for the upcoming season.
“It was a great experience just being it camp. Training was at a high level and I don-t think I was off the pace at all,” Chapman said.
“Hopefully, I can bring that confidence back to the Jets this season and we can have a good year.
“I think this year is going to be a really good year for the Jets. We worked really hard last year and a lot of the young boys got valuable experience and we-re all adding to that experience.
“I know there are a lot of boys overseas with the Socceroos and some promising things happening with a lot of the young boys so hopefully we can bring that back to the Jets.”