Pope’s dreams about to become reality at Anfield

Nick Pope made his Premier Leage debut at the weekend against Crystal Palace
Nick Pope made his Premier Leage debut at the weekend against Crystal Palace

Goalkeeper Nick Pope could make his first Premier League start at Anfield on Saturday.

Playing at the top level is something the 25-year-old always dreamed of, having watched his beloved Ipswich Town in the Premier League, and his hero Richard Wright, as a boy.

And the former Charlton Athletic man’s dreams have now become a reality.

He came on for Tom Heaton just before half-time, to make his Premier League bow, in Sunday’s 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace at Turf Moor.

And he is set for an extended run in the side, after the skipper’s shoulder injury: “That’s what you watch as a kid on TV, everyone stays up and watches Match of the Day, and it’s really nice to be a part of it now.

“I was an Ipswich fan growing up so I looked up to Richard Wright. We were in the Premier League in the early 2000s, we finished fifth in our first year, but we’ve not been in for a while now.

“Since then 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.”

Pope, who has enjoyed loan spells with Cambridge United, Aldershot, York City and Bury, is indebted to the club’s number one Heaton and goalkeeping coach Billy Mercer for the way they’ve taken him under their wings and helped his development: “Since moving from Charlton I’ve been training with Premier League players week in and week out and that’s helped my growth.

“Billy and Tom have been a massive help for me, we’ve got a really good group.

“I’m massively disappointed for Tom, he’s a top guy and I wish him a speedy recovery. He’s been awesome, top drawer, not just as a player but as a person as well off the pitch.”