Liverpool goalkeeper Danny Ward was proud to have made his first start for Wales in the Euro 2016 win over Slovakia.
Ward, 22, was told a few hours before the game in Bordeaux he would win his third cap in place of Crystal Palace’s Wayne Hennessey.
Hennessey missed the game because of a back spasm.
“I knew he was struggling with his injury, but that’s what we’re trained to do,” said Ward.
“You’ve got to make sure you prepare right and you’re ready when the chance comes.
“Whether you have a week to think about it or a couple of hours, it’s still going to be a big thing.
“It was a very proud moment but straight away you switch into game mode.”
Wales are top of Group B following the 2-1 win over Slovakia in their opening game of the European Championships.
Gareth Bale and Hal Robson-Kanu scored for Wales after substitute Ondrej Duda had equalised for Slovakia.
“It’s a big win for us,” Ward added.
“It’s important to get a good start in any tournament. The first game’s massive to lay down a marker.
“We made a little bit of history but we want to kick on and make some more,”
Ward’s first competitive start for Wales also means former club Wrexham will receive a financial bonus.
A product of Wrexham’s academy, Ward was an 18-year-old when he was signed by Liverpool in January 2012.
After spending the first half of the 2015-16 season on loan at Aberdeen, Ward made his Liverpool debut in a 2-1 win at Bournemouth in April.