Newport County’s Will Evans says his introduction to the Football League was a “step up” from the Cymru Premier.
The 25-year-old made his EFL debut as Newport came from behind to secure a 1-1 draw at Sutton United on the opening day of the season.
“I’m over the moon to finally start in the Football League, something that nobody can take away from me now,” Evans said.
“I definitely saw the step up from the Welsh leagues but I knew it was going to be a big jump.
“It was physical and I would probably compare it to Connah’s Quay in the Cymru Premier – it was quite direct.
“You’ve got some big lads, who have played in the league for years on end and to get a taste of Football League football is what it’s about.
“I’ve had a lot of lovely messages from people – it’s very humbling.
“If we’d have nicked the three points it would have been the icing on the cake but I think it’s a good point.”
The former Cardiff Met player scored 11 goals in 24 games for Bala last season as they finished runners-up in the Cymru Premier.
County boss James Rowberry said they had been observing the players “over a period of time”.
“I was training once a week with Bala,” Evans added.
“I’ve come into full-time football and it’s taken its toll on me physically and mentally and you’ve got to be on it each day.
“It’s like going back to school really, making new mates, fitting in with new people and then you get used to it.
“The gaffer and all the staff have been welcoming, players have been as good as gold with me and obviously it’s a step up.
“I’m loving every minute of it and hope it continues.”
Evans, in addition to having to adapt to full-time football, is being utilised as a wing-back by Newport.
“When I was at Bala I was more of a left winger so it was a role that kind of suited me going forward,” Evans said.
“But I’ve just got to adapt it to improve my defensive work.
“Over the years I’ve played in various positions but obviously it’s a different role for me.
“I’m quite fit, I can get up and down, so really going forward it suits me down to the ground.”