After making his first start in the professional game for over two years, Bambo Diaby said the victory over AFC Bournemouth reminded him of why he loves football.
PNE’s No.41, who made his debut for the club in last weekend’s draw at Coventry City, played 90 minutes at Deepdale as Ryan Lowe’s men won 2-1 against promotion-pushing AFC Bournemouth.
After what has been a tough few years for the defender, he was delighted to make his home bow in a North End shirt.
“It was amazing,” Bambo told iFollow PNE. “I always said this is the thing I have been imagining always and today I finally got my debut here in front of our supporters.
“It was amazing. That’s the only thing what I can say, it’s amazing.
“When the referee said it was the end of the game, in that moment it’s like wow I can’t believe that, now it’s done.
“I’ve waited a long time for that, for the feeling of enjoying three points. It’s amazing.
“I forgot what it’s like. Step by step to remember all the feelings, and now I know why I love this game.”
After the full-time whistle, as well as celebrating with the PNE supporters, Bambo jumped into the Invincibles Pavilion to embrace some of his friends in what was a touching moment.
He said: “They are special people for me. That’s my best friend, she’s helped me a lot because in my ban there were some things I couldn’t do by myself, so she helped me a lot when I came here.
“My apartment’s in Barnsley so I can’t stay there to come training in Preston, so she’s helped me a lot to stay with her and another friend.
“She’s always helping me with everything and when I finished the game I couldn’t forget her, so I went to her to say thank you because she helped me a lot.
“I couldn’t do it alone. It’s in my character to work hard, but you need your family and friends to push you. You can’t do everything alone.”
That 𝙬𝙞𝙣𝙣𝙞𝙣𝙜 feeling! 💙 #pnefc pic.twitter.com/wPtdLZqYUU— Preston North End FC (@pnefc) March 5, 2022
The Senegal-born centre half was also very thankful for the support he has received from the North End faithful, who have certainly taken well to their new No.41.
“I enjoyed it," added Bambo. "When you are on the bench or upstairs [in the stands] you see the atmosphere is unbelievable, but when you are on the pitch it’s absolutely different, it’s amazing.
“Every ball is like I need to fight, I need to do it, because it’s not only me, it’s everyone around you, to do it for everyone.”
After making his first start, Bambo is ready to enjoy the celebrations, while joking about his bed being the only thing he needs now to recover.
But he is also ready to focus on the next game – Saturday’s trip to face Cardiff City – as North End look to end the season brightly.
“In my mind now it’s like I enjoyed today. I will enjoy these couple of days with my friends and family, but after that it’s focus on the next game.
“We have ten games more, so now you can enjoy that, but you need to stay focused on the next game to win more points because we have one objective in our mind to fight for every game, to win every game and we’ll see what happens.”
Watch Bambo's full interview for free on iFollow PNE above.