Image credits – Nick Pope
For not many people September 10th is an important date. Some fans might have birthdays on this date, while others might have received the chance of their life on this date. Such is the case of the 26-year-old English goalie Nick Pope. Pope had played in almost all divisions in England. He had been in teams like Bury Town, Charlton, Harrow Borough, Welling United, Cambridge United, Aldershot Town, York City and Bury before he got the chance of his life in Burnley. All these teams except Burnley and maybe Charlton back in the past can be counted as serious and strongly professional. All the rest are just local teams with the small fan base and little ambitions. You already might have been guessing that the date of the first actual chance that Pope received in Burnley was on September 10th. Last year on this date the starting goalie of Burnley (Tom Heaton) suffered a shoulder injury during the game against Crystal Palace. This was only the fourth game of Burnley for the season and it was clear that Nick Pope will be the second goalie of the team for the season behind Heaton. Luckily for Pope and unfortunately for Heaton, the shoulder injury was bad and took Heaton out for almost the whole season. Since that game, Heaton was left out of the squad because of an injury, while Pope was giving the starting position.
There were rumors that Burnley will try to buy another goalie, not trusting Nick Pope to be the starter but he proved them wrong. Pope made more than a dozen clean sheets during the season and played in 38 games for Burnley through the season. His performance led to one of the historical season performances by the team which finished 7th in the league and during the next season will compete in UEFA Europe League. Nick Pope performance was spectacular since Burnley was a team that was relying mainly on defense. If it was not for his heroic saves, the home fortress of the team Turf Moor would have been a much more comfortable place for the visiting teams. If you think that with all this, the dream of Nick Pope was fulfilled, check the final lineup of England for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Pope does not have even a single game for the national team, but he was picked before a goalie such as Joe Hart for the biggest tournament in the world. We guess that now you understand why September 10th was an amazing date for Nick Pope. For less than a year he became the starting goalie of the 7th best team in the English Premier League and one of the three best goalies of the English national football team. We bet you that Nick Pope was not even dreaming about going to the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia before September 10th 2017. Now, he will fulfill the dream of many kids to play at the biggest tournament in the world.