By Dan King - Newcastle United Club Reporter
He has succeeded Steve Harper as Newcastle United's number one, but Tim Krul admits he owes "a massive amount" to his former rival for the goalkeeping jersey.
This week it was confirmed that Harper's 20-year association with the Magpies had come to an end - but fittingly, only after a final hurrah in the final game of last season against Arsenal.
Dutch international Krul is likely to don the gloves on the opening day of next term at Manchester City and it's a situation which the wily Harper always envisaged happening one day.
"I was 17 when I first met Harps and he's been fantastic with me from day one," Krul told nufc.co.uk as he paid tribute to the 38-year-old. "I was just a young boy, a baby back then, in a new country and away from home for the first time and I think Steve still sees me as his student now.
"But he's taught me so much and I owe a massive amount to him. He's been a great teacher. He's worked with me on a lot of things and helped me to improve.
"He's a great guy and a great keeper and he's always been supportive. Even more recently, when I've been in the team, knowing that a great keeper like that was breathing down my neck certainly kept me on my toes.
"He always said to me 'you work hard and one day you'll be in the team' and that's what's happened. I got my chance when he got injured in the 2010/11 season and it's gone well for me since then.
"But he's a great goalkeeper and to spend 20 years at one Club - not many people do that and it's a shame he's leaving.
"He's been here ever since I arrived, so that's eight years now and in some ways it won't be same now he's gone. It'll take a bit of getting used to.
"Even though for the last two or three seasons we've been in competition, that relationship's never changed."
When asked about his abiding memory of Harper, Krul smiled: "It's hard to think of just one thing because there are so many. But there have been a few saves I've made where he's said 'I'll take some of the credit for that one because I was hammering you about that.'
"That's his sense of humour - but there's some truth in it too. He was never afraid to offer advice on the training pitch.
"Woody (current goalkeeper coach Andy Woodman) was the main guy, but if Harps saw something in training he'd be straight in and so I'll always be grateful for that."