Bermuda international Reggie Lambe is hoping he might make his full Mansfield Town debut at Stevenage this weekend after his first taste of Stags action as a second half substitute in last weekend’s narrow 3-2 home win over Carlisle.
The 23-year-old is loving every minute of being back in England after starting his professional career at Ipwich Town before a spell in the MLS with Toronto and three-month spell in Sweden.
His move to Stags then seemed to be on-off for a week or two.
“Everything took a bit longer than I thought, but, in the end, it’s done and now I am just looking forward to getting myself started and getting a few games in,” he said.
“This is where I wanted to play. I always wanted to settle myself in my career in England.
“The MLS is a very athletic league. But here you can see the passion a lot more in the football. I am very passionate about the game and I love being here where everyone feels the same way.”
Lambe explained how he ended up in England the first time around, saying: “I used to play for Bermuda’s national team as a youngster and on a trip to Holland I was seen by some scout from Ipswich and offered a trial. I came over two weeks on and two weeks off for a few weeks and seemed to impress them as they offered me a youth team scholarship.
“It was a dream come true from a young player’s perspective.
“I pushed on and had a few years of pro contracts so I must have done well.
“Then I moved on to Toronto FC. Now I am back where I want to be.
“I have always kept tabs on the English game, especially League One when my Bermuda team mate Nahki Wells has played for Bradford and Huddersfield.
“I am still involved in the international side. Our last fixture was a World Cup qualifier against Barbados a couple of months ago, and there will be more games coming around soon.
“I spent three months playing in Sweden to keep myself ticking over while the English game had its summer break. I wanted to keep fit and ready to go, though I did pick up an injury in my last game. I feel fit again now, probably about 95 per cent.”
Playing in a league with such vast distances between clubs meant Lambe will never be fazed by away trips in League Two.
“Exeter is a short trip to me,” he said. “Every trip in Toronto we had to fly because everywhere was so far. Being on a coach for a couple of hours is not too bad – better than standing in those lines at the airport.
“The MLS had good facilities and the standard is good and getting better. More players want to go out there and play.”
It was a tough debut for him last week as Stags wilted under heavy Carlisle pressure.
“In those situations you need to do your defensive work, keep the ball if you can, and see the game out,” he said.
“I am an attacking player but in those situations you work for the team and make sure you get the three points. The boys have made me feel really welcome and I feel comfortable.”
One Stags player who knew who Lambe was before he signed was Ryan Tafazolli who came up against him as a Southampton youngster in youth team games with Ipswich.
Lambe said: “I remember him slightly from Ipswich, but he says he remembers me for my pink boots I used to wear. It’s always a good sign when you stand out.”