Tigers goalkeeper Ben Hallam has expressed his gratitude to manager Mark Shaw for showing faith in his ability to play at a higher level.
The 22-year-old moved to Sandy Lane from Shirebrook, where he was managed by Shaw in the Northern Counties East League last season.
Despite Tigers fans being accustomed to experienced stoppers like Paul Bastock, Jon Worsnop and Jon Kennedy in recent years, Hallam believes his age is no barrier to performing well between the sticks.
“I’m happy playing at this level, my age has never been an issue for me,” he told the Guardian.
“I was at North Ferriby at 18, straight from Hull.”
“I don’t see myself as a young goalkeeper, and everyone has to start somewhere.”
Once Shaw left Shirebrook to take control at Worksop, Hallam had only one thought in mind – following suit.
“He’s the first manager who has stuck by me, a lot of clubs at this level like to have older, experienced keepers but he knows what I can do.”
“I had only one move in mind, and I decided as soon as I spoke to him.”
“He’s a good manager, he’s good with young players and knows how to put it together.”
Hallam got his first taste of life at Sandy Lane last week, when he and his new team-mates humbled Mansfield Town with a 4-1 win.
He said: “It was an enjoyable experience, Mansfield brought a strong team and I thought we played them off the park.”
“At the back we look strong, the back four is a good one.”
And he’s happy with his own progress in pre-season training.
Describing his routine during the squad’s sessions at Manton Athletic Club, he told the Guardian: “It’s a bit of a mixed bag.”
“We do a lot of the strength and conditioning that the rest of the squad do, and then when they do their player specific stuff we do goalkeeper training, explosive stuff, up and down work.”
“I’m always training in the gym as well, I keep myself in shape and I’ve got a lot fitter over pre-season.”
“I’m feeling good and ready to go now, I think everyone in the squad wants to get going.”