SHANE Cansdell-Sherriff revealed he had been “dying to play” after making his first appearance of the season in Burton Albion’s 2-2 draw at home to Scunthorpe United last Saturday.
The Australian centre-half was signed on loan from League One outfit Preston North End during the week and came straight into the defence for the clash at the Pirelli Stadium, which saw the Brewers end their three-game winning run with a performance that – for 85 minutes at least – deserved all three points.
But after taking the lead through the returning Billy Kee, they conceded twice early in the second half, and had Robbie Weir to thank for rescuing a point.
“I’m disappointed with the result, but happy to play, and get 90 minutes as well,” said Cansdell-Sherriff.
“It’s my first game of the season, so I’m happy to be out there and playing again as I’ve been dying to play.”
The 30-year-old former Shrewsbury Town stopper had a largely impressive debut alongside Zander Diamond, who was immense at times, but blamed himself for the first of Scunthorpe’s goals.
“I was disappointed on the first goal, as I made a mistake at the back which led to the goal, but overall I was happy,” he said.
“In general I think we were good, we just had five minutes of madness – but we’ll put that right.
“There was lots of positives, but you can have a great game and one small mistake leads to people pointing the finger at you.
“Zander is a strong lad and I enjoyed playing alongside him – you can see his experience.”
Ian Sharps returns to contention for next Saturday’s trip to Wycombe Wanderers, but Cansdell-Sherriff – who offers cover at left-back as well – is hopeful that boss Gary Rowett will give him another chance.
“Hopefully I’ll get a good week in training and get another chance against Wycombe,” said the Sydney-born defender.
“The manager wants everyone competing for spaces, but I’ll work on my fitness and try and push on from here.
“I’ve had a few reserve games for fitness, but it’s completely different.
“The first half, I felt okay, but in the second half I felt a bit leggy as that sharpness disappeared a little bit.
“But hopefully that will get better as I get more games and get back to the level I know I can play at.”
The three-month loan deal for Cansdell-Sherriff happened quickly as Rowett looked for someone to cover for the suspended Sharps and Marcus Holness, and the Brewers gaffer watched a friendly last Monday night before making his move.
And the one-time Australia under-17 defender said he was still getting to know his new team-mates, although he added that playing with a few of them at his previous clubs was helping the transition.
“It can be difficult coming into a team as you’ve got to fit in straight away – and learn people’s names as well,” said Cansdell-Sherriff.
“Things happen so quickly and you’ve got to shout someone’s name having only seen their boots or half a body.
“And by the time you’ve looked up to see who it is it’s too late and they’re saying ‘tell me’.
“I know Phil Edwards, Ian Sharps and Michael Symes from previous clubs, and that certainly helps.
“Just having one person you know is good, because you can go to them for help and advice and to settle in.”
Burton now have the left-footed centre-half that Rowett had been keen on signing all summer.
“I think having that balance is importan,” said Cansdell-Sherriff.
“Because when the ball comes across from the left, if you’re left-footed it’s easier to swing your left foot at it,” “Hopefully I can add that balance.”