HE MIGHT have had Little to do but, for Athletic’s back-up goalkeeper, last Tuesday’s SPFL Trust Trophy win was a big deal.

Since signing for the club in the summer, Max Little has had to wait a long time to have the chance to don the gloves in a first-team game – and he was thrilled to have the opportunity.

The 20-year-old joined Queens Park Rangers at the age of 17, having played Sunday league football previously as a centre back, before leaving the London club at the end of May.

After impressing on trial, he was snapped up by James McPake on a two-year deal, but with Deniz Mehmet installed as the number one, Little had to wait until the win over Celtic B to make a top-team appearance.

“I’ve been waiting for this for a while and it was really nice to get out there,” he told Press Sport afterwards.

“It took a while to get into the game myself but, when I was out there, it was so nice to be out there. It’s been a while.

“I think, when it was supposed to take place a few weeks ago (it was rearranged from its original September date) I was told by my goalkeeping coach that you’re probably going to play that game.

“It’s difficult because I haven’t played in a while, too. I’ve played in reserve games, but that’s once a month, so it’s hard to get game time. It took me a while to adjust, and there are a few things I can work on and improve on.

“But, at the end of the day, it’s a good win.”

Aside from reserve team matches – the Pars this season are competing in the Reserve League Cup – London-born Little reckoned his last competitive first-team game took place before the summer.

When asked if it’s as hard for a goalkeeper to come in and play when not playing often, compared to an outfield player, he said: “I think it’s massive with a keeper because there are many things that you work on in a game which you don’t really work on in training, because you can’t really, whether that’s decision-making etcetera, all that kind of stuff.

“It’s also a different kind of fitness. When you’re training, it’s fast-paced for the whole session for a whole hour, whereas, in a game, you can do nothing, then have one thing to do at the end of the game.

“It’s a different kind of mentality and fitness.

“I know what to do with the ball at my feet.

“The only one thing was the goal, the one on one, but apart from that, I don’t think I had too many any saves. I didn’t think they had many shots but a lot of stuff with the feet, a lot of stuff I can improve on, and look to get better next time, and look to the next game.”

Far from being frustrated at not playing more regularly, he is full of support for team-mate Mehmet, adding: “At the end of the day, I’m 20-years-old. I’m still young and my time will come.

“I’ve just got to be patient and keep working hard every single day.”