AFTER spending the last 12 months at Hibernian without making a single first-team appearance, David Mitchell is determined to make an impression in Ian McCall’s starting XI at Partick Thistle

The 32-year-old moved on a free transfer from Easter Road to Firhill and plans on challenging Jamie Sneddon – the Championship club’s player of the year last term – for the Jags’ No.1 jersey after spending the past year as third choice in the capital. 

The decision to depart one of Scotland’s biggest clubs was not one that Mitchell took lightly but the lure of more exposure in the first team proved too difficult to turn down. 

“That was one of my reasons for coming here – to get game-time,” he explained. “I know it’s going to be a tough task because Sneds did so well last season. 

“I just need to come in and show what I’m capable of then it’s the manager’s decision. 

“I was never going to get the chance at Hibs and ultimately that was what behind my decision to leave. 

“It was a tough one but I’ve come to a great club, a massive club, so I’m more than happy to be here. 

“It’s been really enjoyable. The boys all seem brilliant. I know Kenny [Arthur, Thistle’s goalkeeping coach] and his training has been bang on. 

“It has been good to play in a couple of pre-season friendlies. I’m just wanting the real stuff to start now. 

“It’s no different from anywhere else. It’s a case of coming in and battling, and showing what I’m capable of. I’m confident I can do that.” 

Mitchell may get his wish sooner rather than later. McCall has told his goalkeepers that he plans on playing both of them during the group stages of the Premier Sports Cup, which Thistle began with a 2-1 win over Stenhousemuir at Ochilview on Saturday. 

A trip to Rugby Park to face Derek McInnes’ newly-promoted Kilmarnock awaits tomorrow evening and Mitchell will be hoping to get the nod from his manager. And although he failed to make an impression on the starting line-up at Hibs, he insists the experience as third-choice goalkeeper was valuable nonetheless. 

He said: “I knew that before going in. Jack Ross and [goalkeeping coach] Craig Samson were really open and honest about that, that I was going in as number three. It would be up to me to work my way up. 

“It didn’t happen and that’s just the way it went. But I loved my time there, I absolutely loved it. 

“I learned loads – a lot more than I thought I would. You watch the players that have been there for years and the way they conduct themselves, the things that they do – you just pick wee things up.” 

Mitchell has received a warm welcome from his new team-mates at Firhill but he reckons there is one particular group that won’t be too enthralled with his decision to join Thistle: Clyde supporters. 

The shot-stopper spent two years at Danny Lennon’s side before joining Hibs last summer and while there remains a bit of needle between the Bully Wee and Jags supports, Mitchell hasn’t received too much of a hard time from his former team-mates. 

“It was in my head,” he laughed. “I was well thought of at Clyde – the fans did like me but I don’t know if that might have changed! 

“But that’s football. I’ve got a family to look after as well and it is part of the game.  

“I got a couple of nice messages off of a couple of [Clyde players] so I’ll take that.”