Declan Drysdale’s switch to Ross County may be temporary but he is eager to make a long-lasting impact at Dingwall.
Defender Drysdale has joined the Staggies from Coventry City, on a loan deal until the end of the season.
He provides the Staggies with a much-needed defensive option, following the departures of Harry Clarke and Coll Donaldson.
Since making the move to Coventry from Tranmere Rovers in January 2019, Drysdale has had loan spells with Solihull Moors, Gillingham and Cambridge United.
Last season’s spell with Cambridge was a particularly successful one, in which he made 13 appearances to help the U’s achieve promotion from League Two.
Declan Drysdale trying to scale literal barbed wire is quite a sight. https://t.co/zsqdJOxFyD
— Alex Jones (@AlexJCambs) December 31, 2021
Having become a popular figure among the Cambridge fanbase, Drysdale is intent on striking a similar connection with the Staggies faithful.
Drysdale said: “We had a strategy meeting on Wednesday about the club and what it means to local people, the chairman and things like that.
“Already, I’m seeing this could be a home away from home for me.
“I said that about Cambridge last year, but this feels similar.
“It is a similar group of lads, everyone is close-knit and I really can see it being another good spell for me.
“I haven’t obviously played in this league, but all of the lads say it is high-end English Championship level.
“I think the Scottish league is under-rated, for me. It is a very competitive league.”
Defender ready for next step
Drysdale faces a different challenge with County, who are two points above the Premiership relegation zone in 10th place.
The 22-year-old feels ready for the task ahead with Malky Mackay’s side.
He added: “I think playing in the Scottish Premiership will help me massively. It is something I want to do, the next challenge and step up for me.
“I’ve played a handful of games in England, but I feel like now is the time to kick on and it is a really good level I want to play at and do well at.
“Every game is big and being part of a promotion last year with Cambridge, the pressure of that no matter what the level was, is massive.
“We were playing to go up and that was tough, but enjoyable. It makes you grow as a person.
“I know the expectations coming here when you play the likes of Celtic and Rangers. They’re going to be big games, but it is a pressure I’m used to and something I’m relishing, to be honest.”
Burroughs and Reid sold Englishman on move
Drysdale speaks fondly of his development at Coventry, where he has made six first team outings.
The Englishman called on the advice of fellow Sky Blues loanee Jack Burroughs and former County left-back Josh Reid before making the move to the Highlands.
He added: “It has been brilliant at Coventry, because it has allowed me to get valuable loan moves like this one.
“It is a big club and I’ve had a good time there.
“I got injured at the start of this season so wasn’t in and around it as much as I’d have liked, but it has helped me massively to gain experience.
“Josh was one of the first people I spoke to. I obviously spoke to Jack Burroughs and he was complimentary, but Josh grew up in the area, so I asked him a lot about what the good things were.
“He just told me to go for it. Obviously, he is going to compliment it as he came through the club ranks, but he gave me a good insight into what to expect.
“Josh is a good lad, so I knew I could trust him.”