FORMER labourer and Sunday League striker Reece Thompson has admitted he is still in a state of shock after landing a professional deal with York City.

Less than a month ago, Thompson was preparing for a second season in the Evo-Stick League premier division with Frickley Athletic, where he netted 16 goals in 32 appearances last term.

But instead of travelling to Ossett Town for Frickley's final pre-season friendly on Saturday, he is in line to make his Football League debut at Wycombe Wanderers after his transfer to Bootham Crescent for an undisclosed fee.

In a whirlwind week, since scoring a spectacular goal as a City trialist in last Wednesday's 2-1 victory over Newcastle, 21-year-old Thompson also found himself the subject of interest from League One outfits.

"A few weeks ago, I was just focussing on doing well for Frickley, so to soon be playing for York is a dream come true and I'm over the moon," he admitted.

"I didn't expect this to happen this season and I can't believe it has done really. I'm not used to all of this, so it's been a bit strange and crazy.

"I always believed I was good enough to get where I am now but, the older you get, you wonder if it's going to happen. It has now and that feels fantastic."

Having been released after serving his apprenticeship at Lincoln, where he made one FA Trophy substitute appearance, Thompson played with Mattersey in the Gainsborough & District Sunday Morning League for a season.

He went on to sign for Northern Counties East League side Retford United before moving on to Frickley last October.

Part-time football meant full-time employment, with Thompson saying: "I've been a labourer and worked in my local sports centre – but this was always the job I wanted and I've always worked hard and done a lot of training by myself to keep fit."

Thompson also revealed that joining City was always his first choice, despite last week's overtures from the likes of Bradford.

The striker explained: "There were a couple of other bids but York was always the club for me. It's a great club that I've enjoyed being at. Hopefully, I'm going to get quite a lot of game time too, which is great."

Thompson now wants to repay City chief Russ Wilcox, who tracked his progress for several months before giving him the chance to showcase his talents in pre-season.

The ex-Harworth Colliery juniors attacker said: "You hear people talk and I got told after he watched me against Blyth that he was impressed, so I just kept working hard and tried to do well.

"Luckily, he was interested enough to come back in for me. I'm just glad he gave me an opportunity which I've taken."

Thompson added that his spectacular goal against Newcastle has helped cement the faith he had in his own ability to prosper at Football League level.

"You've got to believe in yourself because, if you don't, there's no point, but that goal has given me more confidence," he reasoned.

"You're expected to score as a striker and it's a great feeling. Hopefully, I can keep getting goals. I'm making quite a big step up and that brings obvious advantages and disadvantages.

"I will be playing with better players but also against better players. I'll take everything as it comes, though, and, hopefully, prove myself at this level."

Despite his new club shelling out a transfer fee and handing him a two-year contract, Thompson is not taking anything for granted, with Vadaine Oliver, Jake Hyde, Michael Coulson and Emile Sinclair also vying for forward roles.

Hyde won and scored a penalty in yesterday's behind-closed-doors 3-0 friendly win over Doncaster, although Coulson and Sinclair are currently sidelined by injury.

"You're never safe," he pointed out. "There are always lads wanting to take your spot, so I've got to work hard."

Thompson has a realistic chance, though, of making his full League debut alongside Oliver this weekend.

The pair played together in pre-season, with Thompson feeling the ex-Crewe striker can prove a good foil, saying: "Vadaine is strong, big and good in the air.

"I'm smaller so I like to play on the last man to try and get in behind teams and cause problems. We need a few more games to get used to each other but I think we'll definitely do well."

Also on the scoresheet against Doncaster – City's final outing before the season starts, which comprised four 20-minute periods – were Josh Carson and Callum Rzonca.