JACK Stephens is ready to put his body on the line for Swindon Town as he looks to lay the foundations for a successful career in football during his loan spell at the County Ground.
The centre-back, signed from Southampton last week, produced a superb debut display as Town drew 0-0 with Bristol City on Saturday. This was despite having to play the final 35 minutes of the match with 10 men following Alex Pritchard’s red card.
Stephens was a large factor in Swindon securing a point from the local derby at Ashton Gate and afterwards he told the local media that he is ready to give his all to show his parent club he has a big future in the game.
“I’m paid to defend so I’m going to put my body on the line for whatever team I’m playing for,” he said.
“That (the way Swindon try to play) was a key aspect of me joining. I spoke to the manager on Thursday and he said we like to play football, we like to play out from the back and when we can do it we do play.
“Immediately I thought that suits me down to the ground.
“I feel like I’ve had a decent season with the under 21s and I feel this is the time to get out, play some league games and give me the platform for next season.
“The under 21 league is a great standard but nothing can beat playing in front of a big crowd with three points on the line, playing in front of the fans. They were expecting a result and I’m glad we could give them something positive to go home with.”
Having seen the likes of Luke Shaw and Calum Chambers progress through Southampton’s youth system to become regular features of the Saints’ first-team squad, Stephens feels he is in the right place to progress.
“Although they’re younger than me, I still people I look up to,” he said. “Seeing what they’ve done, they’ve been given the chance and they’ve taken it so I’ve just got to wait for my chance and when it comes I’ve got to take it like they have.”