Saints opened their 2018/19 Premier League campaign with a 0-0 draw with Burnley, but the main story from that game was the raucous reception hometown boy Ings received from his fellow Southampton fans and the positive impact he made on the pitch.
But Shayne Ings missed it all.
“My dad’s actually down in Weymouth in a caravan,” said Ings [H/T the Daily Echo]. “He missed it, trust me, he’s going to get it.”
Ings, who was rejected by Saints as a 10-year-old for being too small, started his professional career at AFC Bournemouth through a scholarship at Brockenhurst College.
With stints at Burnley and Liverpool following, Ings has returned to the club where it all began for the 26-year-old striker - and it’s something he can barely believe materialised on deadline day, resulting in him having to make a quick dash down to Southampton from Merseyside.
“It was crazy,” Ings said. “I don’t know the ins and outs, but for me travelling down it was nuts. But we got it done and I couldn’t be happier.”
That’s not surprising, given Ings’ local connections to the club. But he doesn’t want to rest on his laurels and soak in the praise for merely just coming from the Southampton area.
“It does [feel special] and now I’ve just got to prove my worth. It’s not just about being a local boy here, I’m here to improve and do as well as I can for the fans and for the team.
“[I’ve] got to get on the training pitch and keep working it.”