HAVING raised a few eyebrows when he arrived at Notts County this summer, Andre Boucaud raised the roof off Meadow Lane on his full League debut for the Magpies.
It was a big surprise when the Magpies signed the midfielder, 27, on loan from Luton Town until January because he had not played in League One for seven years and had spent the last four seasons in the wilderness of non-league.
Some fans feared Boucaud would be a flop, but boss Keith Curle was convinced he would be a big hit – and he certainly was on his bow in their 2-0 win against Hartlepool United, winning tackles, beating players and driving Notts forward.
He did so well that when he was substituted on 77 minutes he left the pitch to rapturous applause.
Some fans were so impressed they got out of their seats to give him an ovation.
He was definitely the Magpies' man-of-the-match and now he hopes to start against Walsall at Meadow Lane today to help them continue their flying start to the season.
"I was so happy to be in the team. It was great to get an opportunity and I feel like I took it," he said.
"It felt great to be back in the League too – it's been a long time since I played at this level.
"It also felt so good to get out in front of the fans, do well and help us get a win.
"Hopefully I can keep my place in the team now and continue doing well.
"I'm here for five months and I'm just going to give it my best shot.
"Every time I get a chance, I'm going to give my all.
"It felt great to walk off to people clapping me.
"It means a lot to me when people appreciate what I've done on the pitch and it makes me want to play well again for them.
"My debut could not have gone any better for me, I just want to keep it going now."
Boucaud's first crack at playing in League One was at Peterborough, but he was released in 2006 and dropped all the way down to Conference North level to join Kettering Town.
He was on the rise again a year later, joining Wycombe Wanderers, but he spent only one season at Adams Park before rejoining Kettering in the Conference in 2008.
Boucaud insists he always believed he could play in the League and is determined to seize his latest opportunity.
"Keith Curle has seen that I've got something and I just want to go and do my best," he said.
"I always knew I could play at this level and hopefully I've started to prove it."
If he does proves he can cut it in League One in the next few months, Notts will quickly try to agree a permanent deal with the Hatters.
Boucaud insists he is not thinking about his long-term future, but focusing on helping Notts set the pace at the top of the table.
"All I can do is go out on the pitch and perform," he said.
"All the other stuff is down to the manager and the chairman.
"All I've been given so far is a pat on the back!"
Having also beaten Crewe 2-1 in their opening league game, Notts have made a great start to the new season and Boucaud believes they can maintain their early momentum against Walsall.
"It's good we've got off to a good start because it gives us confidence and creates a good vibe around the place," he said.
"We've won two out of two and hopefully we can make it three out of three.
"We've got a bit of momentum already and we're going to go out against Walsall determined to get another three points."
Curle meanwhile is confident his new signing will not be a one-game wonder.
"He did really well," he said.
"He had to be brave because we wanted him to get on the ball and make us play and the conditions were not easy because of the rain.
"There were some raised eyebrows when we took a Conference player on loan, but I'm sure he will do well here.
"He is good enough to play at this level.
"He didn't suit Luton's style of play, but he does suit ours.
"We've managed to pick up a player I believe can fit in and adapt to the way we want to play and he is only going to get better and better."