Charles Vernam says he’s keen to make the most of his loan spell at Grimsby Town.
The 21-year-old forward yesterday joined the Sky Bet League 2 side for the rest of the season to gain more first-team exposure.
The switch to Blundell Park is the third of his career so far after he spent time out on loan at Icelandic side ÍB Vestmannaeyja in the summer of 2016 and then Coventry City in League 1 last term.
Vernam is keen to repay the faith shown in him by Mariners boss Russell Slade, who was in charge at Coventry when he linked up with the Sky Blues last January.
He is relishing the prospect of spending the rest of the current campaign with Grimsby and returning to Derby in the summer all the better for the experience.
Vernam told Grimsby’s official website: “I’ve been playing in the Under-23s quite a bit at Derby and I was keen to push on and get a taste of first-team football.
“I know the manager from when I was at Coventry City last season and it’s nice that he has shown faith in me to bring me here.
“It was a real learning experience for me at Coventry as I hadn’t played too much men’s football before. I had a few injuries so I didn’t play as much football as I would have liked but it was still good for me to go there.
“Hopefully I can kick on during my time with Grimsby and help the team. I hope I can prove myself and show I am good enough to play at this level.”
He added: “Derby have been very positive with me about the move and want me to show what I’ve got. Ultimately the aim is to play as high as I possibly can and I hope to go back in the summer all the better for this experience.”
Vernam is looking forward to playing under the pressure of playing for points with Grimsby.
Although points are up for grabs at Under-23 level, he says nothing beats the thrill of what is up for grabs in a first-team set-up.
He said: “You don’t realise when you’re playing for the Under-23s just how much those three points mean when you step into a first-team environment.
“There’s so much riding on it; you’re playing for your future and everyone’s future.”
Vernam, who made his Rams debut last January as a substitute against West Bromwich Albion in the Emirates FA Cup, has spent the last few months training with Derby’s first-team squad after recovering from a lengthy lay-off with a knee injury.
He says he’s thrilled to see Gary Rowett’s men at the top end of the Championship table and hopes to see them remain there for the rest of the season.
He said: “Things are going well at Derby and the first-team are flying.
“I have been around the squad and training with them and it’s brilliant to see them putting a run together.
“I think they are where they should be with the players there. The manager has brought players in and they’re doing well.
“It’s good to see and I hope they can take it on until the end of the season.”