Max Lowe is determined to pull on the Derby County shirt again in the upcoming 2019/20 season and kick on from an impressive loan spell at Aberdeen.
The 22-year-old left-back had his most productive season so far last campaign, racking up 42 total appearances north of the border as well as a further five appearances for the Rams.
Lowe – who struggled with injuries in his early years as a professional – was delighted with the number of games played he played last term, which included the Scottish League Cup Final against Celtic in front of more that 50,000 people.
In total, for Derby and Aberdeen, he played 47 games in all competitions.
Now, the defender wants to keep pushing in the first team at the club he has been with for over a decade, after coming through the Rams' Academy system.
“Getting 40 plus games was a massive tick of the boxes and staying fit,” Lowe explained in an interview with RamsTV.
“I've had issues with injuries in the past so getting through last season injury-free was a massive improvement for me.
“I am just happy with the amount of games I got because you learn in every game you play and there were some massive games up in Scotland.
“I feel like I have learned a lot and it has given me confidence coming back here to try and get a place in the squad.”
He added: “I want to get back in that Derby shirt. Hopefully I can be back here for this season and get some games under my belt.
“I am at an age now where I need to kick on and play as many games as I can.”
A week and a half into the pre-season and just six days after meeting new manager, Phillip Cocu, Lowe could get the chance to pull on the Rams shirt when Derby take on Sarasota Metropolis on Wednesday evening in Florida (7pm local time).
Following a hard week of training in the heat and humidity with a mixture of fitness and ball work, Lowe, like his team-mates, could get his first opportunity to show Cocu what he can deliver in a game.
With less than a month to go until the Sky Bet Championship season kicks off with the Rams heading to Huddlesfield Town on the opening day, Lowe says the Rams' player have been told exactly what is expected of them to be named in the team on that Monday evening.
He said: “That was the first thing he said to all of us as a group that it was a clean slate. He has put the marker down and we all know what we need to do to get a shirt.
“It is a fair battle for everyone and everyone is trying to do their best to get in there.”
Lowe continued: “The week’s work has been tough, but it has been enjoyable as well. Some of the sessions that the gaffer has put on that have really made us think so it has kept us on our toes.
“With the game tomorrow we are all buzzing to get some minutes hopefully.
“The fitness will be the first thing we need to look at and then the performance, that comes with it. Hopefully if we all get minutes and stay injury free then that’s the priority.”