Worksop Town’s new goalkeeper has some sage advice for the youngsters in the squad - do as you’re told, do your best and you’ll get the chance to play at a higher level.
At 34, Jan Budtz is the oldest man in the Tigers camp, with bags of experience from his times with the likes of Doncaster Rovers, Wolverhamton Wanderers, Hartlepool United and Stalybridge Celtic.
He told the Guardian he’s enjoying his stay at Sandy Lane, and he’s been pleasantly surprised by the quality of the players in front of him.
“I’m quite surprised about the level of the squad,” he admitted.
“I definitely see players with the potential to go higher.”
“I’m the oldest in the squad, and it’s great, you want a squad full of young players with enthusiasm.”
“Some of them are a bit raw but you can work with them.”
“Hopefully myself and Quinny (Adam Quinn) can pass on some of our experience to them.”
Budtz played alongside one of non league’s young star players last season, Terry Hawkridge, who went on to sign for Scunthorpe United in League Two.
The Danish goalkeeper has the same advice for Worksop Town players as he had for Hawkridge.
“When you’re a young lad it’s just about getting your head down.”
“I played with Terry last year, and he was doing well and started getting sniffs from bigger clubs, and it went to his head a bit and affected him.”
“I pulled him to one side and told him to listen to the manager and do his best.”
“If these young lads do as they’re told and do their best then they will get spotted and will get the chance to move.”
When he made his debut at home to Stamford earlier in the month, Budtz became Worksop’s fifth keeper of the season.
Had it not been for injury he may have arrived at Sandy Lane sooner – but a twist of irony meant he eventually pulled on a Tigers jersey.
He explained: “I went on holiday back in June and broke my foot and that set me out for a couple of months.”
“I spoke to Mark Shaw in pre-season about going there but they already had a keeper.”
“I had to get myself back fit and then he rang me again because Jon Stewart had broken his foot, that’s how I came to the club.”
“That’s the way it goes in football.”
Budtz is fully aware that Stewart may harbour ambitions to come back and take the number one jersey at Worksop, but he’s unconcerned.
“At the end of the day I’ve been a full-time professional for many years and I know the game and the position you’re in as a keeper.”
“I want to play every week, but I could get injured tomorrow, so I don’t want to look too far ahead.”
“I just want to play as many games as I can, enjoy my football and take it one game at a time.”
Although he’s now fully acquainted with his new team-mates, Budtz played with Shane Clarke at Trinity last year, and has come across Leon Mettam before, although his memories of those encounters aren’t as sharp as the Tigers captain’s.
“Clarkey is a very good midfielder for us.”
“I’ve played against Metts a couple of times and he claims he scored a couple past me, but I don’t think he did.”
“I don’t think he’s even scored past me in training,” quipped the 6ft 4ins stopper.
“He’s a great striker, where the ball is he’s there and when he gets a goal or two we always have a chance.”
Off the pitch Budtz is employed by Doncaster Rovers as a social inclusion officer, having qualified as a social worker last year.
He runs programmes designed to get kids off the street and involved in the sport.
“It’s the best place, to come back to where you started, I’m very happy there,” he added.