Ryan Edwards is confident he is the man to fill the void alongside Liam Cooper at the heart of Chesterfield’s defence, writes Matt Brooks.
The 19-year-old new signing, who joined the Spireites on a month’s loan from Blackburn Rovers, got a taste for first team action last season while out on loan at Rochdale and Fleetwood Town.
He clocked up more than 30 appearances and believes the experience will stand him in good stead, as he looks to stake a claim for a starting place in Paul Cook’s side.
Edwards said: “I spoke with Gary Bowyer (Blackburn manager) and we decided the best thing for me was to get back out and play as many games as possible.
“I got a lot of games last season and hopefully I will play from the start and do well here at Chesterfield. I know all about the league and I know what to expect.”
Chesterfield boss, Cook, got a good look at the centre-back when his side visited Fleetwood Town on the penultimate game in League Two last season.
He will face stiff competition from Matty Brown, Sam Hird and Jack Broadhead but remains hopeful of extending his initial one-month stay at the Proact Stadium.
Edwards, who joined Blackburn at the age of 14, replaced Brown on 55 minutes during Tuesday night’s 2-1 defeat to Wolverhampton Wanderers and relished the chance to test himself against the likes of Leigh Griffiths.
“It was a good test and that’s what I want more of,” he said on facing Kenny Jackett’s Wolves.
“I think I have got my match fitness. I was involved in three games at Blackburn before coming here and my fitness levels are good.”
The Spireties entertain Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday in their last friendly fixture ahead of the season’s opener at Bury on August 3.