It is safe to say that Nick Thomson has had a short and sharp introduction to not only life at Blyth Spartans but also to the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League.
The young keeper was signed by Tom Wade at the start of February as cover for fellow custodian Peter Jeffries as Spartans look forward to a hectic schedule between now and the end of the season.
However, an unfortunate injury for Jeffries handed Thomson his chance in between the sticks and the former Darlington keeper admitted that although his chance has come earlier than expected, he would look to make the most of it.
He said: “I didn’t expect to get a chance this early. I signed and thought I would be on the bench challenging Peter Jeffries for the number one spot.
“You hope to get a chance and hope something goes your way, but I never thought it would come in the first week.
“Obviously in the circumstances I am gutted for Peter, but I am determined to take my chance here.”
Thomson made his debut in testing circumstances at Rushall Olympic, a game where the former Boston University student more than played his part in an impressive win for Tom Wade’s side.
And he did so on a testing pitch against one of the most physical sides in the league.
Thomson admitted that he was expecting a tough test but was given confidence by the attitude of his team-mates before the game.
“I wasn’t really nervous, I just thought it was going to be tough on that pitch,” he said.
“I was confident, the lads had been great in the dressing room and in the warm-up, so going into the game they gave me that confidence.”
It has been a positive start to Thomson’s Spartans career with the keeper playing his part in three consecutive wins inside a week.
The latest of those was Saturday’s 4-1 win over Stamford, and the run of results left the keeper admiring his side’s style of play.
He added: “It’s been a positive week and if we can keep winning then I will be happy.
“The lads here are a great group and it’s a good dressing room to be part of.
“I stand there behind the lads and watch them attacking and think every time we go forward we will score, they have been excellent.
“I think we will win more than we will lose between now and the end of the season.”
The young stopper is keeping his feet on the ground though.
He acknowledged that as some point Jeffries – who he describes as ‘a top keeper’ – would come back into contention and that he faces a real challenge for the number one spot, however, he is ready to challenge for the place.
He said: “I know I am playing for the shirt and I just want to enjoy playing.
“When Peter comes back it will be a good battle and I was excited to get my chance, but I know he is a top keeper and there are some real challenges ahead for me.”