Mark Randall is looking forward to the challenges that his move to Chesterfield FC will bring.
And the 21-year-old midfielder, who was snapped up by the Spireites after being released by Arsenal, is looking to make an impact.
He said: “It is an exciting move for me. I met with the manager John Sheridan and he offered me a contract. I signed for Chesterfield on the day I met him.’’
Randall spent a decade with the north London giants, and has played at every level from the Champions League to League Two, but he jumped at the chance of a move to the B2net.
He said: “I had no hesitation in dropping down a level. I played in League Two last season and there have been players who have dropped down and then moved back to the top. I hope that is something I can do.’’
Randall – who had loan spells with Burnley, his home-town club Milton Keynes and Rotherham – believes Chesterfield can gain promotion for a second successive season.
“I think 100 per cent that we can get promoted and the other players believe it too.
“In training everybody has been confident and we have performed well in our pre-season games. Our confidence is very high.’’
An attacking midfielder, Randall believes the way the game is played in League One will benefit Chesterfield.
He said: “I was with Rotherham last year and they did not play football how I like to play. I was not getting in the squad.
“But I’ve put that behind me now and I’m looking forward.
“The way the game is played in League One will suit Chesterfield.’’
He is well prepared too for the demands ahead after a rigorous build-up during July.
“The pre-season I’ve just had has been very hard. There’s been much more running.
“On the first day there was hill running. I’ve never done that before and I hated every minute of it.
“But we got the footballs out quite early in training and that has shown in the way we have played our pre-season games. We have been playing great football.’’
Blues chief Sheridan – like Randall – was a midfielder which could be a big help to the former Arsenal man.
Randall explained: “He says I play in a similar way to the way he used to. He has confidence in me and it helps my confidence knowing he is behind me.’’
After joining the Arsenal Academy, Randall made his Gunners debut in October, 2006, in the Carling Cup and he has also made substitute appearances in the UEFA Champions League games.
He also played a full game in the Carling Cup when a side packed with Arsenal youngsters defeated Sheffield United 6-0.
But with Arsene Wenger’s first-team squad bursting with world-class stars, there was little scope for Randall to become a first-team regular and he was loaned out to a variety of clubs to gain experience.
He joined Burnley in the Championship in 2008 and played 16 games with MK Dons.
Last season he had a three-month spell with the Millers and was sat in the stands at the B2net when Chesterfield demolished the Don Valley side 5-0 in March.
But now he is a Chesterfield player and everybody hopes the new man in the No 23 shirt will play a big part for the Spireites this season.