NORTHWICH footballer Luke Offord has expressed his delight after making his professional Football League debut in Crewe Alexandra’s 2-0 win over Leyton Orient at Gresty Road last Tuesday.

Offord was forced into action at centre-half just before kick-off after veteran defender Nicky Hunt failed a late fitness test.

That late notice helped the 20-year-old deal with the occasion – and it turned into a dream debut.

Offord, who grew up in Northwich and went to Cuddington Primary School and Weaverham High School, has been on Alex’s books since he was seven.

Offord said: “It was good to make my debut and I only found out 90 minutes before kick off.

“That was good because I didn’t have to think about it all day.

“All the lads said just go out and enjoy yourself and do what you do normally.

“They talked me through the game and I thought I did all right.

“I have been here since the age of seven so its a big achievement to make my debut and get three points.”

Offord was on loan at Witton for two months last year and had a loan spell at Nantwich earlier this season.

He can play anywhere across the back four – and his debut and attitude pleased his manager.

“I thought Luke was outstanding on his debut,” said Alex boss David Artell.

“He went off with cramp at the end, but for 80 minutes he was terrific for us.

“He has a great temperament and he had that in the under13s when I took that age group.”

In fact Artell was so pleased with Offord’s efforts, he picked him again at the weekend as Alex continue their push for promotion from League Two.

He featured for 90 minutes in Crewe’s 2-1 win at Walsall, which leaves Alex in second place four points behind Swindon Town with a game in hand.

If he gets the nod again, there is a trip to Oldham Athletic in store for him this weekend and then a home clash with Crawley Town on Tuesday.