Having been given a taste of senior football, young Wrexham defender Doug Tharme is now hoping for more but acknowledges the huge strides needed to adjust to a higher level. Tharme was given his senior debut by Dean Keates on Saturday as the Dragons boss made seven changes to his starting line-up from the side that lost 4-1 at Macclesfield Town seven days earlier for the game against Harrogate Town in the first round of the FA Trophy.

The 18-year-old centre-half was beaten twice in the air by former Wrexham striker Mark Beck to notch both goals for the Town as the National League North high fliers claimed a 2-0 win to advance to the second round. And Tharme, who has been on the fringes of the first team this season as an unused substitute against Hartlepool and the FA Cup loss at AFC Fylde, knows he needs to improve his physique as much as his ability if he is to make an impact at senior level.

“I am proud (to make my debut), but obviously disappointed with how it went,” said the defender. “But getting the opportunity, I am glad I have impressed enough in training and I will use it as a learning curve to come back and hopefully make more appearances.

“Hopefully I will be able to look back on the game, see where I can improve. I think I need to get myself in the gym, get a bit stronger and get used to playing against men, because it was very different from between playing at under-18s. I don’t think I really appreciated it.

“You get familiar playing against the strikers in training, you get to know them, but when you come up against someone like that (Beck) which I have really never had any experience against, it was a change.”

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