JOSH Tongue admitted his County Championship debut was “the kind of thing I’ve been dreaming of” after he destroyed Glamorgan’s second innings in Cardiff.
The 19-year-old finished with 5-45 from 10 overs as Worcestershire won by eight wickets.
He became the first New Road player since Imran Arif in 2008 to take five wickets in an innings on his Championship debut.
Paceman Tongue has had injury problems and spent the winter in rehab after back surgery.
But director of cricket Steve Rhodes and bowling coach Matt Mason have always had belief in his potential.
Tongue said: “It’s what I’ve been dreaming of, making my debut and now getting a five-for. It is an amazing feeling.
“I felt really good bowling-wise. I hit the pitch hard and got a bit out of it. All of our bowlers performed really well.”
Academy product Tongue was delighted to reward the faith and patience shown in him after his lengthy lay-offs.
He said: “I did really well at Oxford on my first-class debut and then two weeks down the line my back was hurting.
"I had a scan, there was a stress fracture and I had an operation.
“All credit to Ben Davies and Ross Dewar for getting me fully fit and ready for the start of the season.
“Playing me in the first game does show the coaches have got a lot of faith in me. I’ve bowled well in the nets and did well in the warm-up games.
“I’ve learnt a lot off Mase (Mason) and it is great to get all the experience off him and technical points and how he goes about things.
“They are just limiting it at the moment, trying to get me back into full fitness and then hopefully down the line I can bowl more overs in my spells.”
Rhodes said: "There is definitely more to come from him. The longer his career goes on those consistent spells will be a lot more often.
"He has definitely got some pace in him when he gets his rhythm up."
Tom Kohler-Cadmore, 22, hit a century against Glamorgan after recovering from shoulder surgery as the County secured a maximum 24-point haul.
Rhodes said: "I'm really proud of the boys. They made a terrific effort. The toss (uncontested) was quite important and we had Glamorgan in trouble early.
"Although they fought back admirably to keep that pressure on them all the way through and to see a couple of young players in Tom and Josh doing so well bodes well hopefully for their seasons.
"It's crucial to get off to a good start now there are only 14 games."
Rhodes praised head of sports and science Davies for his role in the recovery of Tongue and Kohler-Cadmore.
He said: "Ben has done an amazing job with two of the players who have done really well in this game."
Australian all-rounder John Hastings made an instant impact with five wickets and a half-century.
Rhodes added: "He is a winner and all those qualities he showed with the bat and the ball.
"If you look closely he made sure we stuck to our task."
The County play their home Championship opener against Northamptonshire at New Road from Friday.