Former Bury Town goalkeeper and ex-Ipswich Town academy youngster Nick Pope gearing up for League Two play-offs with York City
PUBLISHED: 16:44 12 May 2014 | UPDATED: 16:44 12 May 2014
Goalkeeper Nick Pope thought he was signing up to a relegation battle after swapping the Championship for League Two, but now the former West Suffolk College pupil is just three games away from promotion.
The 22-year-old, whose brother Josh plays in goal for Mildenhall, will be York City’s last line of defence tonight as Nigel Worthington’s Minstermen host Fleetwood Town in the first-leg of the League Two play-offs.
The former Ipswich Town academy player has been an unbelievable success since joining York, on-loan from Charlton Athletic, and played a major part in the club’s current 17-game unbeaten, keeping seven successive clean sheets.
The former Bury Town goalkeeper and Ipswich Town fan, has two years remaining on his contract at Charlton, but is focusing all his efforts on promotion glory with his temporary employers.
“I thought I was in a relegation fight when I signed,” said Pope, who joined York for a second loan spell in January.
“We were in lower mid-table and looking at the dotted line below us.
“Only the most optimistic of York fans would have imagined us being where we are now.”
Pope had spells in the Conference with Aldershot and Cambridge but demonstrated his burgeoning talent by taking the step up in his stride.
“My overall record at York is 15 clean sheets from 22 games, while the club record is eight clean sheets in a row and I kept seven, only conceding a goal in the 90th minute in the eighth game,” explained Pope, who has made one substitute appearance for Charlton.
“We played Scunthorpe last weekend and we weren’t sure who we were going to get in the play-offs, but I think it’s a case that other teams aren’t relishing playing York right now.”
Worthington has already gone on record with his desire to keep Pope beyond this season, but the final decision will remain with Charlton.
“It’s out of my hands, and I’m just concentrating on getting to Wembley and winning promotion with York,” he said.
“I have been to Wembley a few times to watch different games and when you are a kid, it is seen as a pinnacle to get there as a player.”
Saturday’s original first leg between the teams was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.