Charlie Lakin aims to use his spell with Ross County to carry the momentum from a productive stint at Stevenage last season.
Midfielder Lakin joined County on a season-long loan from English Championship side Birmingham City last month, and has started the Staggies’ last four games since making his debut as a substitute in a Betfred Cup tie against Montrose.
Although Lakin has made 14 appearances for his parent club, the 21-year-old’s first taste of regular senior football came with League Two side Stevenage, where he made 25 outings.
Having impressed in his early appearances for the Dingwall men, Lakin is eager to grasp the step up handed to him by Staggies manager Stuart Kettlewell.
Lakin said: “I was talking to my agent and he said Ross County were interested and wanted me on loan. I said it was perfect – a good league, playing good games and I’d never been up north before.
“I knew it would be good experience for myself so I just said to him ‘let’s get it done.’ I’m 21 years of age and was on loan at Stevenage last year, where I played most games, which was good for me.
“But I just need to kick on again from last year and play more games at a better standard, against better opposition. My aim is to play as many games as possible.”
Solihull-born Lakin will come up against a familiar face when County host Livingston on Friday, with Lions defender Jack Fitzwater hailing from the same part of the West Midlands.
Lakin insists Fitzwater provided him with a sounding board prior to his move to Scotland, which he insists has given him an opportunity to broaden his horizons.
Lakin added: “Being this far north is something I’ve never experienced. I wanted to bring myself out of my comfort zone, move away from my family home for the first time.
“It’s a new experience and, at the age of 21, to do that and play at such a good level, I couldn’t ask for more.
“It’s not something I’m used to but it’s a beautiful place, very different from back home in Solihull.
“Back home, everything’s so busy and people are on top of each other, but up here is a lot different. It was a real eye-opener.
“I’ve got a friend who plays for Livingston, Jack Fitzwater from West Brom, who I know from Solihull. He was from the same area as me.
“He had spoken before about how much he was loving it in Scotland and said it was one of the best things he had done for himself.
“That was just general conversation, before this popped up for me.”
@CharliieLakin notched his first league assist yesterday, setting up Oli Shaw with a brilliant pass behind the United defence.
Photo: Willie Vass pic.twitter.com/mBo7R6E5Bn
— Ross County FC (@RossCounty) November 1, 2020
Left-sided player Lakin has predominantly featured in the heart of midfield so far, however he insists his versatility in playing a host of other positions has helped him to understand the demands of his team-mates.
Lakin added: “My preferred position is number eight, centre midfield, but that versatility is what I’ve been brought up with. I’ve always been able to play a number of left-sided positions.
“Having the understanding of all these positions really helps me. I’m used to it. If I’m playing in central midfield, I know what the wide left players would want and where the left back will be.
“It helps you know where team-mates would want the ball and where they will be.”