YOUNGSTER Dominic Gape can now be referred to as a Premier League player, after he made his first-team debut for Southampton, in their 3-0 win over Everton on Saturday.

The 20-year-old from Burton Bradstock, replaced Shane Long for the final few minutes of the Saints’ victory, and with all of his family looking on, there was no prouder man in the crowd of 31,475 at St Mary’s than Dom-inic’s father Chris.

He told Echosport: “It was very emotional really “We knew he had been training with the first team and obviously because of injuries and sus-pensions there were some openings.

“He rang me and said he was on the bench and for me that was good enough.

“For him to actually get on for a few minutes was a very exciting day.”

The young midfielder has been pushing for a spot in the first- team squad since signing a professional contract in April 2013, but has been hit hard with injuries.

“We had our fingers crossed because he has had no luck at all really,” father Chris added. “He had an ankle ligament injury that kept him out for four months.

“Then at the end of last sea- son he was hoping for an opportunity but he had glandular fever, which finished his season off.

“He was called into the first-team squad to go on tour with them at the beginning of the season and, on the last training session, he broke a metatarsal which kept him out until November.

“He came back and played a few under-21 games. We went to Anfield and Portman Road to watch him and we were really pleased the way he has come through it all.

“Considering he has only been back playing a few weeks, we are made up for him really.

“We met him after and saw a few fans waiting with him to take pictures and sign auto-graphs, that was a bit unreal and it was all part of a very exciting day.”