Coleraine attacker Stewart Nixon is hoping to do Jerry Thompson proud after switching to the No.21 shirt for the upcoming campaign.
The pair played together at Carrick Rangers before the football community mourned the death of Thompson in December 2019.
As a mark of respect to his former team-mate, Nixon, who joined Coleraine in the January transfer window, selected Thompson's former shirt number of 21 for the upcoming season.
"The decision to change to the No.21 shirt had been on my mind for quite some time," the ex-Ballymena United man said.
"When Alexander Gawne re-joined Carrick Rangers on loan for the season I knew that the number was available, so I selected it to remind myself of Jerry.
"Jerry was such a fantastic person both on and off the pitch and I hope that I can do him proud."
Nixon and his Coleraine colleagues are in Slovenia this evening to face NK Maribor in the first qualifying round of the Europa League.
The 23-year-old insists he has to pinch himself at times that he is competing on the European stage.
"I knew the club were in a good position in the league when I joined in January, but I don't think you can take playing in Europe for granted," he said.
"The game against La Fiorita was only my fifth competitive game for the club due to Covid-19 and being ineligible for the Irish Cup, so it has been a quick turnaround. We know it is going to be a difficult game against Maribor as they have had previous experience of playing in the group stages of the Champions League.
"However, we will relish the challenge ahead and go in with a good frame of mind after our win last week.
"We knew we had a chance of going through against La Fiorita and this is our reward, to play at a top-class stadium against quality opposition, but we need to not let the occasion pass us by and make sure we give a good account of ourselves."
Nixon was introduced from the bench in last week's success against La Fiorita but the speedster is hopeful that he will get the nod to start this evening.
"When Oran (Kearney) signed me he spoke about how much pace and energy I can bring to the side," he continued. "To be honest, I had no complaints about not starting last week as I have been poor in the behind-closed-door friendlies.
"However, I thought I made a good impact when I came off the bench and hopefully I can earn a starting place."
Nixon, who was also on the books at Wakehurst, is missing a special occasion to be available for the clash in Slovenia.
"We released the news a couple of weeks ago that my partner Lyndsey and I are expecting a child," he concluded. "The only issue is that the 16-week scan was due this week and I'll be away to Slovenia, but there's nothing we can do.
"I'm sure I will get to plenty more and it is something we are looking forward to."
Oran Kearney will be without Steven Douglas and Curtis Allen, who haven't travelled due to work commitments, with Jamie Glackin out through injury.
NK Maribor vs Coleraine
Europa League Qualifying First Round
Ljudski vrt, Tonight, 7.45pm
Name: Futbolo Klubas Riteriai
Nickname: The Knights
League: A Lyga, Lithuania (Sixth)
Ground: LFF Stadium
Based: Vilnius, Lithuania
Manager: Tommi Pikkarainen
Key player: Donatas Kazlauskas