Morecambe keeper's pride after making his senior debut
Andre Da Silva Mendes was a happy man after making his Morecambe debut on Tuesday night.
The keeper was a late addition to the Shrimps’ starting line-up for their Papa John’s Trophy group stage defeat to Carlisle United.
With Jokull Andresson away on international duty, Kyle Letheren had been due to start in goal at the Mazuma Stadium but picked up an injury during the pre-match warm-up.
That meant Da Silva Mendes was handed his first start with Morecambe goalkeeping coach Barry Roche on the bench.
The 18-year-old justified manager Stephen Robinson’s decision with a couple of fine saves in the second half.
“I was a bit surprised to be fair,” Da Silva Mendes said of his late selection.
“Unfortunately Kyle got injured but that’s the reason we work every day; to go if needed.
“I was waiting for my moment. It was unexpected but a great experience.
“Unfortunately we didn’t get the win but, hopefully, we can pick up the pieces.”
Da Silva Mendes’ performance was one of the few bright spots on a disappointing night for the Shrimps.
They struggled to create chances going forward with two goals in six second-half minutes from Jordan Gibson and Kelvin Mellor giving Carlisle victory.
Da Silva Mendes felt he could have kept out Gibson’s free-kick but the Morecambe manager had only praise for the teenager’s display.
“I thought Andre was very good,” Robinson said.
“He’s only trained three days, he’s had a wrist injury and been out all season; not done a pre-season.
“Barry Roche has high hopes for him and he proved that tonight. He was thrown in at the deep end at the last minute.
“It was really unfortunate for Kyle, who’s been the ultimate pro since we left him out of the team, but he certainly took his opportunity.”
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