SUMMER signing Harry Palmer may have been taking a lot of the plaudits during the early stages of Canvey Island’s season but Conor Gough is eager to make the number one jersey his own.

Palmer, who joined the Gulls from AFC Hornchurch during the close season, saved a penalty inside the first two minutes of his debut in the opening day win over Barking before pulling off a number of fine saves in the draw with Grays Athletic last time out.

But tonight’s Velocity Trophy preliminary round tie with Enfield Town, at the Frost Hire Stadium, may offer Gough the chance to stake a claim for a regular spot between the sticks.

And the 25-year-old goalkeeper is intent on taking the opportunity with both hands.

Gough, who is enjoying his fourth season with the Isthmian North club, said: “I’m hoping to get a chance tonight and I have been given a tip that I could be playing.

“Harry has come in and done very well between the sticks.

“I have to be patient and hope that I get the opportunity. Once that chance comes, I need to take it.”

Gough missed the vast majority of last season after picking up a horrific injury - which saw him suffer a partial anterior cruciate ligament tear and a hairline leg fracture - last August.

And the shot-stopper is keep to put the injuries behind him.

“It’s brilliant to be back out there with the boys,” added Gough.

“I started training towards the end of last season but it was important not to rush back into action after so long out.

“I had the off-season to get myself fit and I had one full game and a few halves in the team over pre-season. But it would great to play my first competitive fixture of the year tonight.”

A number of managers may not be focused on winning the Velocity Trophy but Gough believes Canvey should be looking to go on an extended run in the competition.

Gough confirmed: “I think you have to take all cup competitions seriously.

“We have gone out of competitions early in recent years.

“It would be nice to go on a good run.”