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Ross County academy product Josh Reid helped convince Coventry City defender Declan Drysdale to make loan move to Dingwall

By Alasdair Fraser

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Declan Drysdale was sold on a move to Ross County by Coventry City’s young Dingwall import Josh Reid – and already feels like he has found “a home from home” in the Highlands.

Born in the Wirral and raised on Merseyside, the 22-year-old central defender could easily have felt a touch of culture-shock after venturing to a remoter region north of the border.

But after tasting promotion glory as Cambridge United rose to League One last season, the 6ft 5ins tall centre half has immediately felt at ease within County’s highly-driven dressing room.

Reid (19), who joined the Sky Blues a year ago, urged Drysdale to grab the chance of playing in Scotland’s Premiership.

“Josh was one of the first people I spoke to,” the defender said.

“I obviously spoke to Jack Burroughs who is on loan here from Coventry and he was complimentary, but Josh grew up in the area so I asked him a lot about the good things here.

Coventry City loan defender Declan Drysdale has wasted no time in settling into the dressing room at Ross County.
Coventry City loan defender Declan Drysdale has wasted no time in settling into the dressing room at Ross County.

“He just told me to go for it. Obviously, he is going to compliment it as he came through the club ranks here, but he gave me a good insight into what to expect and he’s a good lad Josh, so I knew I could trust him.

“It happened very quickly. Jack mentioned last week that the manager had been asking about me and when I got the call from Coventry saying Ross County were interested, I said, straight away, ‘let’s do it’.

“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.”

The allure of facing the Old Firm and Scotland’s other big clubs was powerful for Drysdale but so, too, was the attraction of joining a club with a similar feel to it as Cambridge.

“As the gaffer said to me, the amount of exposure you get here in Scotland is phenomenal, playing against the likes of Rangers, Celtic, Hearts and Hibs – all the big teams here,” he said.

“I want to expose myself to it. You’re on Sky TV and things like that do inspire you to come here.

“We had a strategy meeting yesterday at County 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.

“The Scottish league is under-rated for me. It is a very competitive league.

“It’s up to us now to build on some of the positive results the team has been getting and have a really strong second half of the season.”

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