Cameron Stewart is eager to gain more experience of playing senior football during his loan spell with Cove Rangers.
The 20-year-old Northern Irishman joined Paul Hartley’s side on loan from English Championship side Ipswich Town earlier this summer.
Stewart is yet to make a senior appearance at Ipswich – where his contract runs out next summer – and spent last season on loan back in his home country with Crusaders in the NIFL Irish Premiership.
He made five appearances in all competitions during his spell in Northern Ireland last term.
This season, the defender has featured in all four of Cove’s League One games so far, including starts against Falkirk, Montrose and Queen of the South.
And having been able to get considerable game time under his belt already, Stewart is raring to gain even more experience with Cove, who travel to Alloa Athletic today.
He hopes more minutes may put him in the first team picture upon his return to Ipswich.
Stewart said: “I’m 20 now so I need to be playing men’s football. That’s what they said at Ipswich.
“I’m maybe not quite ready for the first team down there, so they wanted me to come up to Scotland and play more games, and hopefully next year I can go back down and get in the team.
“I’ve talked to Ipswich about my future.
“I spoke to the manager (Kieran McKenna) before I came here and they gave me their best wishes, and the under-21s manager John McGreal has been really good for me. They all help me a lot.”
Learning on the job at Cove – who must cut out cheap goals
Stewart feels he is adapting to the demands of Scottish football, as he added: “I’m really enjoying it so far. Training has been really good and I’ve been playing, which is what I wanted to come here and do
“The style of football is slightly different to what I’m used to, but I think I’ve been doing alright so far.
“It’s more physical than it is down south. Down there it’s more on the ground and playing through the lines, but I need to learn both sides of the game.
“I want to play as many games as I can and help the team. Hopefully, we can do some good things this year.”
Cove have picked up four points from as many games this season, and Stewart believes his side must cut out conceding “cheap goals” to improve their standing in League One.
Hartley’s side currently sit in sixth ahead of their trip to Alloa, who occupy seventh with three points.
Stewart said: “We are playing well in matches, but maybe luck has not gone our way.
“I thought we were the better side last Saturday, but we’re giving away cheap goals at the minute. I think when we cut that out then the results will come and we will climb the table.
“It is a new team, so it’ll probably take time for us to gel together, but in training you can see we’re definitely doing the right things.”