Midfielder Curtis Thompson thought that he was never going to get his chance of first team football but has been given a new lease of life under Chris Kiwomya.
The first team manager’s willingness to give young players an opportunity on the senior stage has opened the door for a number of up and coming players.
The likes of Haydn Hollis, Greg Tempest and Tyrell Waite have been thrown in at the deep end in recent weeks but all have taken their chance well.
Thompson is the latest of the squad’s young guns to be handed his full Football League debut and he repaid Kiwomya with a sterling showing in the 3-1 triumph over Colchester United earlier this month.
The 19-year-old hopes to be included for this weekend’s home encounter with Coventry City but admits that a few months ago he would not have headed into the weekend with such optimism.
“At times I was feeling disappointed and I thought that I could at least squeeze on the bench at times, but in football you’ve just got to be patient,” he told Magpie Player.
“When your time does come, you’ve got to be ready to take it so when Chris did take the chance and put me in the squad on the bench I was very happy with that.
“Throughout your time if you’re not getting involved with training and you’re not training as well you can feel down so I’m very happy to be brought in.
“Chris has always pushed us young players on and made us ready to play at that higher level of the first team.
“He kept us going and it was good for us when he got the job because he knows how we play and how hard we work for him.
“At times I doubted whether I could make the step up because I wasn’t really doing too good in training and I was having my off days a lot.
“As soon as Chris got the job I felt a lot more confident around him in training and lately I’ve felt that I’m ready and hopefully I can do well.”