When Curtis Thompson arrived at Adams Park on a loan deal from Notts County in January, he found his new team-mates on a crest of a wave amidst a spectacular run of form, but the wait for a chance to shine was more than worthwhile when he ended the season a promotion winner.
Now he’s back for good, penning a five-month deal ahead of kick-off against West Ham United on Saturday, having left Notts County at the end of his contract and securing his first choice switch back to familiar territory.
“I’m happy to be on board officially and I can’t get wait to get started now,” he said after the 1-0 loss to the Hammers. “When I came in in January, I knew the boys were playing really well and I’d have to be patient and wait for my chance.
“When I did get that chance, I was happy to be involved and be part of the team which won promotion. It was an unbelievable feeling and I’d never been part of such a wonderful group like that before,” he added.
His seven appearances last season all came in the heart of midfield but Curtis found himself at right-back during the second half of Saturday’s friendly – a position he’s had experience of playing in previously.
“A few years back I played at right-back for a few games, and I’m happy to do a job there if the gaffer needs me to. I like to be in the thick of things in the middle of the park, but I’m happy to play anywhere I’m needed,” he said.
And Thompson says Wanderers can be proud of their performance against a star-studded Hammers side which included several multi-million pound signings and internationals.
“I thought we did well, particularly in the second half. They’ve got some fantastic players and that’s why they’re at the standard they are, but I thought we could’ve nicked it,” he said.
Meanwhile captain Adam El-Abd added: “I thought it went fairly well considering it was our first 45 minutes each and we were playing against a Premier League side who are ahead of us in terms of games played in pre-season.
“There were a lot of positives for us and a lot of things to work on too as we gear up towards the big kick-off,” he added.
And the skipper says the Blues’ preparations have been aided by three days spent at the Vale Resort in south Wales, blending football and gym sessions with team building activities.
“It’s good to be back and we’re had a positive two weeks of build-up towards the friendlies,” he said. “We went to the camp in Wales which helped us in terms of training and team bonding and now we’re pleased to be back on the pitch getting some match fitness and sharpness under our belts.”