David Artell feels that Billy Sass-Davies is ready to challenge for a first-team place next season but he is a position where he has to hit the ground running.
As a former centre-half himself, Artell knows the demands of being a young player being tested at senior level. Artell was thrust into action as teenager at Rotherham United and played a part in two back-to-back promotions before he was surprisingly released with the club on the verge of Championship football.
Sass-Davies has already tasted first team football at Crewe and has finished the season strongly out on loan at National League side Yeovil Town.
Artell is convinced that the Wales Youth International can return to his parent club this summer and challenge for a first team spot.
Artell said of Sass-Davies: “We feel Billy is ready but he plays in a position where he is going to be under the microscope quickly. It’s tough. It is not as though he can go in and play a few games at right-back and ease his way in.
“He has step up and quickly. He has to go in at the deep end and show that resilience. He has to act and play like an experienced 29-year centre-half and it is tough. Billy knows that and we will give him every opportunity to show that he can bridge that gap.”