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Pope takes his chance

Pope takes his chance
7 months ago

Nick Pope is ready to seize the moment and establish himself as Burnley's first-choice keeper.

The former Charlton youngster has come into the side following injury to Tom Heaton and impressed on his Premier League debut, a 1-0 victory against Crystal Palace.

The Sells endorsee, 25, had previously been restricted to cup appearances, following his move from The Valley in July 2016, but now he is looking forward to taking on the game's elite on a regular basis.

"When I came to Burnley I wanted to play games," he said. "That's what you dream about as a player - you don't dream of sitting on the bench.

"As a goalkeeper coming off the bench [against Palace] is one of the hardest things you can do, so to come on and get the clean sheet and the win, we're over the moon."

It's been a long journey for Pope, having been rejected by Championship club Ipswich Town at the age of 16, and then dropping into non-league football with Bury Town prior to his return to the professional ranks with Charlton.

After a settling in period at Turf Moor he now feels ready for an extended run at the highest level and is keen to build on his opening display against the Eagles.

"Since moving from Charlton I've been training with Premier League players week in and week out and that's helped my growth," he added. "Billy (Mercer, goalkeeping coach) and Tom have been a massive help for me, we've got a really good group.

"The Premier League is what you watch as a kid on TV, everyone stays up and watches Match of the Day and my family is massive on sport so we watch every game we can really.

"You watch it grow every year, it's why it's the biggest league in the world, because of the entertainment and the quality on show.

"It's come on over the years and it's really nice to be a part of it now."