There are few players in Northern Ireland football who have experienced a turnaround quite like Glentoran midfielder Steven Gordon.
The Newtownards-born lad spent a lot of last season on loan at his hometown club, where he suffered the disappointment of relegation.
The beginning of this campaign was endured on the periphery of the Glens’ first team squad, that was until something clicked just before the turn of the year which catapulted the 21-year-old into the spotlight as one of the NIFL’s in-form players.
That burst of impressive performances prompted Glens boss Eddie Patterson to describe Gordon as ‘an inexperienced Darren Lockhart’, a comparison endorsed by Director of Football Roy Coyle. That’s quite a compliment.
However, Gordon, who grew up supporting the Glens, is well grounded and won’t let the headlines turn his head...even if he can’t quite believe how this season has unraveled from a personal perspective.
“On a personal note if you told me this back around August/September time when I wasn’t making the squads that things would turn out as they have, I wouldn’t have believed you,” said Gordon who began his career at Ards Youth before spells at Linfield and Glenavon.
“Obviously a lot has changed since then, in terms of my game time, so I guess it’s now down to how hard I work and how well I perform to try maintain my place in the squad and team for the final.”
“Personally, I’ve just been glad to have got a good run in the team, and although I have managed to score 10 goals in the process I’m still critical of myself and realise that my overall performances can still improve.
“Hopefully that will come with more game time and experience. Since the turn of the New Year the team has been fantastic and we went on a really good run that could have led to a European spot through our league position. Unfortunately we lost a few games at the wrong time and that seen us slip away but we aren’t far off and I think we are making steady progress.”