Henrich Ravas believes the 2019/20 season was a positive one for him at Derby County under the stewardship of Head Goalkeeping Coach Shay Given.
The 22-year-old former Slovakia youth international goalkeeper has been with Derby since January 2016 after spending time with both Sky Bet League 1 side Peterborough United and National League North outfit Boston United on non-contract terms.
The custodian has made good progress in recent seasons and gained valuable experience with Derby’s Under-23s in the EFL Trophy during the 2016/17 season, playing in the group-stage fixtures at Port Vale and Doncaster Rovers.
Ravas spent the 2017/18 season on loan at National League North outfit Gainsborough Trinity and appeared 43 times in total, claiming their Young Player of the Year award in the process.
He acted as Derby's third-choice goalkeeper upon his return to Derby during the 2018/19 and 2019/20 seasons and appeared as an unused substitute on several occasions, as well developing his talent alongside Given the rest of the Rams’ goalkeepers and featuring for the Under-23s.
While he is still waiting to make his first team bow, the Slovakian is keen to continuing working hard in preparation for if an opportunity to impress comes his way.
Speaking to RamsTV in an interview, Ravas said: “I really enjoyed last season and on a personal level I feel I improved a lot to become a better goalkeeper in all areas.
“Being in-and-around the first-team and training with them every day has been really good.
“With the new staff, alongside Shay Given as well with the goalkeepers, it has been a good place to work.
“Overall, it has been an enjoyable season and I enjoyed coming in every day to work towards when I get a chance, I am ready to perform.”
It was announced last month that Ravas had won the 2019/20 Premier League 2 Save of the Season.
He received the accolade for his sensational tip onto the crossbar in the Premier League 2 fixture against Tottenham Hotspur last August, a game in which the Rams would win 2-1.
It proved to be a crucial stop as it prevented the hosts pulling a goal back in the encounter as Derby claimed all three points in the capital.
“I am really happy with the award and I didn’t expect it or anything; it was a nice surprise when I got the message to say that I had won,” Ravas said about winning the award.
“The goalscorers always bring the happiness by scoring the goals to win the games. People watch football to see goals and excitement, not to see goalkeepers make unbelievable saves!
“My job is to keep the ball out of the net in any way possible.”
On the save itself, he added: “I remember the player shooting from the left with his right-foot and my instinct was to ‘step and dive’ and luckily I got a touch to push the ball onto the crossbar.
“I didn’t really think about the save during the game and afterwards a few of the lads were saying it was a great save. As I said, it is my job to keep the ball out of the net.”