Latics’ 19-year-old striker Rakish Bingham was handed his first senior appearance for the club in last night’s pre-season friendly victory over Dayton Dutch Lions in Piqua, Ohio.
Coming on as a substitute in the second half of last night’s 6-1 win, Bingham scored within nine minutes of taking to the pitch, making it a second debut goal for the club.
“I scored on my Under 21 debut against Swansea City a couple of seasons ago and I scored last night on my debut in the first team, I’m proud of that and it’s a pleasure to achieve that.”
It wasn’t an easy achievement for the bright forward as the searing in the USA’s Midwest took its toll, but Bingham didn’t let that put him off.
“It was extremely hot and even on the side lines before I came on I was feeling the heat.
“By the time I got on the pitch I was dripping with sweat from the heat but once I got on the pitch it was just natural to get used to the conditions.
“The last pitch I played on with grass this long was during my days playing football in college but again once we were on it for a bit then we soon got used to it and got down to business.”
Bingham, who scored five goals for the Under 21s last season, was given the nod by manager Owen Coyle in advance of last night’s game and explained how he took that chance to size up the opposition.
“The gaffer told me after Saturday’s game against Columbus Crew that I’d get a run out against Dayton.
“I didn’t know how long I was going to get but he told me to just go out and grab my opportunity and I think I worked hard enough to warrant my goal.
“While I was sat on the bench waiting to come on I was focusing on what I could exploit in the game and I assessed the defence and goalkeeper to make sure I was ready.
“I knew the goalkeeper didn’t like shots coming straight at him and I picked that out as something I could take advantage of.”
Scoring Latics’ fifth goal in the game before Grant Holt got his second of the match, Bingham described it as a pleasure to play alongside such an experienced fellow forward.
“Since the day he arrived he’s been a big help and he’s been giving me a lot of tips in training.
“It’s great to be able to train with players of such calibre as Grant but it’s even more of a pleasure to play with them.”
With the hunger for more first team football inside of him and the final game of the pre-season tour ahead of him against Pittsburgh Riverhounds, Bingham finished saying:
“I’ll be knocking on the gaffer’s door before Friday, onwards and upwards and hopefully more goals.”