NEWPORT’S Lee Evans has spoken of his pride after finally making his Wales debut on Tuesday night.

The Newport County AFC academy graduate replaced his former Wolverhampton Wanderers teammate David Edwards in the second half of the 1-1 draw with Panama at the Cardiff City Stadium.

Evans, who made 29 appearances for County before leaving Rodney Parade for Wolves in January 2013, won 13 under-21 caps and was first called up to the senior squad in October 2014.

The 23-year-old posted on Twitter after the match, writing: “So proud to have had the opportunity to play for my country, something I have dreamt of doing since I was a boy!”

Edwards replied: “Well done mate, first of many and thoroughly deserved! Buzzing for you and your family.”

Evans has impressed national manager Chris Coleman during his current season-long loan at League One club Wigan Athletic.

And fellow Newport native Chris Gunter, who captained Wales on Tuesday, praised Evans’ patience in waiting for his chance to shine on the international stage.

“He did really well,” said Gunter. “He’s done well in training as well.

“He’s been in various squads over the years so I’m delighted for him.

“It’s always nice to see people making their debuts because there’s a lot of times where they come away and they don’t get on the pitch.

“But people always turn up and in training they are the ones that push us.

“You need players in the hotel that are positive and with you. You can’t do it with 11 players.

“It’s a hugely proud night for them and I’m really pleased for him, being a Newport boy as well.”

Penarth Times:

County manager Michael Flynn was also delighted for his former teammate, even though the club did not earn any money from Evans’ international bow.

As part of the deal that took him to Molineux in 2013 they are due a payment from Wolves when Evans starts a competitive match for Wales.

“It’s a proud moment for him and his family,” said the Exiles boss, who played with Evans in the 2012-13 season.

“He’s a good lad. We still keep in contact and I’m very proud of what he’s doing in his career.”