Jason Field used to be known as the unluckiest player at Boston United. But after making his return to the club, the left back is determined to stamp out his authority on the Blue Square Bet North.
That nickname was given to the 19-year-old by former manager Jason Lee.
The boss regularly admitted he saw plenty of potential in Field.
But with club captain Gareth Jelleyman a regular in his starting XI, first-team opportunities were hard for the York Street youth product to come by.
“It was very frustrating,” Field said, after making his return to the Pilgrims side for last night’s 4-2 defeat at Harrogate Town.
“Jason Lee always said to me I was the unluckiest player on the team.
“I knew I’d never play in front of Jells. He’s a quality player and was the captain.
“I learnt a lot from him, but now he’s gone it’s my time to step up and give it all I’ve got.”
Indeed, just last week the club announced that Jelleyman - who had been nursing an Achilles injury - had left the club by ‘mutual consent’.
Paul Mayo had been deputising for the skipper, but his day job with the police force meant the ex-Watford defender could not commit to all the club’s fixtures.
Needing a replacement, manager Graham Drury swooped for Field, who had been progressing his trade and catching a few eyes with Boston Town.
Field originally joined the Poachers on loan as Lee - knowing the youngster he promoted from the reserves was itching for game time - looked to keep him active.
But after continuing to travel with the Pilgrims, only to be an unused substitute, Field decided it was time to cut his ties with United.
At Town he became an important part of Matt Hocking and Ian Dunn’s young United Counties League Premier Division side.
Regular football saw Field, as he admits, come on in leaps and bounds.
But when Drury called and asked him to return to York Street - just 20 weeks after leaving - Field just couldn’t turn him down.
He said: “I thought I would finish the season with Town, but I got a phone call from Graham.
“He asked me to come back and I thought ‘why not?’
“It was a tough decision. I didn’t want it to be like last time when I wasn’t playing.
“At Town I was enjoying my football, playing week-in and week-out and playing really well.
“But I thought I have to take this chance. If I said ‘no’ I probably wouldn’t get another chance to play at this level.
“I had to take it. This is where i want to be.”
The fact that Town’s two managers didn’t stand in the way of Field switching Poachers for Pilgrims made the decision to move easier.
But Hocking, himself a former United defender, even encouraged his player to make the most of the opportunity in front of him.
“Matt said I’ve got to go,” Field continued.
“It’s a good chance for me and I’m thankful that they didn’t try to stop me.
“I mean, one thing I didn’t want to do was leave Town on bad terms.
“They’ve done wonders for me - giving me confidence and giving me game time.
“I can’t thank them enough for doing that for me.”
On Tuesday, Field’s return was complete as he was named in Boston’s starting XI for the clash at Harrogate.
It was just his seventh appearance for the first team and his third league start.
The scoreline might not have been ideal, but with United trailing 2-1 Field bullishly forced his way down the left flank before putting in a pinpoint cross for Marc Newsham to head home an equaliser.
Harrogate may have struck twice again to run out comfortable winners, but that moment made Field realise he had made the right decision.
“I was buzzing,” He confessed.
“My head was throbbing, I couldn’t believe it. I thought we were going to win it.
“But switching off is killing us.”
With 11 games to go this season, he is confident the results will come as the side assembled by Drury - he hopes - begins to gel.
Field added: “You learn most from playing and having experienced players helping you through.
“Playing at Town changed my game, I started getting forward and scoring goals, which I’ve never done before.
“Hopefully, I can bring that here.
“I want to show I’m worthy of playing in this Boston United team.
“Half the squad’s changed since I was here before, so it’s getting to know old faces and new faces.”