The Worksop Trinity – Tigers trio turn Blue

Worksop Town v Mansfield Town. Tigers player Conor Higginson and Mansfield player Ritchie Sutton G130710-4d
Worksop Town v Mansfield Town. Tigers player Conor Higginson and Mansfield player Ritchie Sutton G130710-4d

Gainsborough Trinity boss Steve Housham has added a third former Worksop Town player to his 2014/15 squad, with the capture of Conor Higginson.

The attacking midfielder signed for the Blues on Thursday evening, joining fellow ex-Tigers Jan Budtz and Adam Quinn on the Northolme.

Higginson moved to Worksop alongside manager Mark Shaw last summer, from Northern Counties East League Division One side Shirebrook.

His arrival at Gainsborough sees him leap four divisions in a calendar year.

And while he’s excited by the challenge of a higher level of football, the 22-year-old admitted to some mixed feelings.

“I’ve not had a taste of Conference football since I was 19 and I always aimed to get back to it,” he said.

“To drop as low as I did was a wake up call for me, a bit of a kick up the backside.”

“It’s nice to get a chance to show what I can do, it’s a challenge I’m relishing – I’m already working on my fitness to get ready for it.”

Leaving Sandy Lane was not in his plan when the season finished, but Worksop Town’s financial backer departed and the club still don’t know what league they will be playing in next season.

He revealed: “I went on holiday after the season and I was waiting for a letter of re-engagement, the plan was to stay at Worksop – the core of the squad were going to stay.”

“To get a text from the gaffer of that nature, I was speechless, devastated.”

“It’s going to take a long time for me to get over it, I was hoping we would kick on and win the league.”

“I really hope people get behind the #Team500 Club initiative and they find a competitive level, even if it’s NCEL Premier – they won’t be in that league for long.”

Higginson leaves behind a manager who helped him recover from being dropped by Mansfield Town, and a fanbase who took him to their hearts.

“Mark Shaw has really turned it around for me in the past few seasons,” he said.

“He wanted me to come to Shirebrook and said I would have a chance to move on to the Northern Premier League, and then he took me to Worksop.”

“He’s always backed me, I love the gaffer to bits, he’s been different class to me and I can’t thank him enough.”

“And I had an unbelievable relationship with the Worksop Town fans, it’s taken me a while to feel really at home in a club since I left full-time football, and last season they were like a massive family.”

“We couldn’t have asked for more, they travelled home and away.”

“We were on first name terms with most of them by the end of the season.”

Leaving Worksop may have been tough, but joining Trinity was made easier by the presence of two team-mates and the positive endorsement of ex Trinity players.

“Steve Housham had recommendations from Clarkey (Shane Clarke) and Metts (Leon Mettam), and Paul Connor who I played with at Mansfield told Steve about me,” he said.

“It was a huge help having lads I’ve played with last season joining.”

“And now I’m really hungry to progress, I want to start like I did at Worksop and burst out of the traps and establish myself in a strong, competitive team.”

Higginson scored 11 goals in 42 appearances for Worksop last season, employed mainly in an attacking midfield role or on the left wing.