Harrogate Town's Wembley hero says King's Lynn Town spell helped him onto bigger and better things
George Thomson says his time at King's Lynn Town was a pivotal part of his career on his way to bigger and better things at Harrogate Town.
On Sunday, the silky midfielder was described as the ultimate professional by Town boss Simon Weaver - another former Linnets player - as the Yorkshire clinched promotion to the Football League for the first time in their 106-year history.
And the 28-year-old admitted his time at The Walks made him finally realise that he could make his mark in the game.
It all started on November 17, 2012, after the Linnets - then plying their trade in the Evo-Stick Northern League Division One South - signed Thomson on loan from Histon.
Thomson made an instant impact and more than 100 games and 37 goals later he was on his way up the non-league ladder with a move to Chester.
Reflecting on his time in Norfolk, Thomson said: "The first time I thought about building a career for myself was when I was at Lynn. I loved my time there.
"I felt it was time to stop moving around from club to club. It was the first point as a player that I actually felt settled with a team and played lots of games.
"The dressing room at Lynn back then was very similar to the one we have at Harrogate now, it was all full of mates. You had people Setch (Gary Setchell), Neil (Fryatt) and Ross (McNeil), all great people.
"It just all kicked on from there really. The high point for me was winning the Evo-Stick Northern League Division One South title against Sheffield on a Tuesday night.
"After I left Lynn it didn't really work out for me at Chester and I never really felt that I got a fair chance to show what I could do there.
"My time at FC United of Manchester was brilliant and then I went full-time with Harrogate, which is what I always wanted to do."
While Thomson's nomadic career has gone from strength-to-strength, little did he know that the club where he first put himself in the shop window would also be scaling new heights.
But the Leeds-based playmaker always felt that Lynn could elevate themselves onto a much bigger stage.
"You only have to look back at that Tuesday night against Sheffield to know that the potential was there," admitted Thomson.
"To get that many fans in the ground at that level was incredible. You always felt the club was a sleeping giant and that it could take off.
"The club always had the potential, it was just about having that momentum behind them.
"A lot of change since I've left, but I've always followed Lynn's results and I will continue to do so now they are in the National League."
Having played in the top flight of the National League for almost three seasons, the former Nottingham Forest Academy graduate has given Lynn the lowdown of what to expect once the campaign kicks off in October.
"It's a tough, tough league and I'm not just saying that because we've come out of it," admitted Thomson.
"There's some lovely grounds, but there is a lot of travelling. It is about getting to grips with a more professional league.
"Any side can beat anyone on their day and that's from top to bottom. Sometimes you'll have to really dig in to get the results.
"But knowing and seeing the way Lynn like to play, I think they will be alright. They like to get the ball down and pass it - very much like we do at Harrogate.
"I know a few of the lads at Boston United who were at Harrogate and they all say that Lynn are a very good side.
"It's a tight league and it's all about consistency. Last season we were 18th in the table early on in the season but a few wins can shoot you up the table.
"By New Year's Day we were in the top three and that's where we managed to stay until the end of the season.
Thomson ended by praising the impact that Town boss Weaver, who donned a Linnets shirt in 2008/09, has had on his career.
"Simon has had a massive impact on what I've achieved in the last few years. He's a great manager and away from football he's a nice guy and a very intelligent man."