Linfield goalkeeper Alan Mannus is prediciting that his former Windsor Park team-mate Peter Thompson will soon be fighting for a place in the Northern Ireland starting line-up.
Mannus has been one of the goalkeepers in the international squad for well over a year now and was recently joined by Thompson when he won a recall under Nigel Worthington.
Now that he has secured a £100,000 plus move from the Blues to Stockport County, Mannus sees Thompson adding to his seven caps and one international goal very quickly.
“I know I speak for everyone in the Linfield team when I say we all wanted to see Peter get a move to further his career,” said Mannus.
“He never let any talk of a move affect his game during his time at Linfield and I know he can go on now and develop even more as a player and keep on scoring goals.
“I think it won’t be long before he is a regular in the Northern Ireland team, not just on the bench but in scoring goals for his country.”
Both Mannus and Thompson have been linked with moves to England and Scotland before and while the Windsor Park number one is widely regarded as the best in the local game, no club has so far followed up their initial interest with an offer for his services.
Although they would be loathe to see him leave the club, many Linfield fans would like to see Mannus be given the opportuni
ty to show his talents at a higher level than the Irish League and he is among those happy to see Thompson get his break in England with the League One side.
“There is nobody who deserves it more than he does,” said Mannus.
“The reason he has done so well is because he has a great attitude and he works harder than anyone else I know and is the most professional person I know.
“Young players should look up to him and he is a great role-model.
“It’s been a pleasure to train with him and be considered a teaem-mate and a friend.
“Training with Peter has made me a better goalkeeper, because I have had to work even harder to save his shots.”
While Thompson is gathering his things together to head back to Stockport today, Mannus is on his way to Croatia with the Blues as they prepare to face Dinamo Zagreb in the second leg of their Champions League qualifier.