New Burton Albion signing Connor Ripley says the time is right for him to make the step up to the Championship.
The Middlesbrough goalkeeper signed a season-long loan deal with the Brewers on Monday and will go straight into the Albion team for Wednesday's Carabao Cup trip to Oldham Athletic (7.45pm).
It was with the Latics last term that Ripley proved his quality in the EFL, equalling Oldham's clean sheet record – and earning the club’s player-of-the-year award - to help them avoid relegation to League Two.
That followed a campaign in the Scottish Premiership with Motherwell. He made 36 appearances as the Steelmen finished fifth that term, providing his first sizeable contribution to a senior side.
But now, with a new deal taking him up to July 2020 at Championship promotion contenders Boro signed, 24-year-old Ripley knows the chance is there for him to show his abilities in the second tier of English football with a loan stint at the Pirelli Stadium.
"I'm excited - I've done the hard bit at Motherwell and at Oldham, and now I think it's time for me to prove myself in the Championship as well," he said.
"They are very tough (divisions). When I went to Motherwell, they had just escaped relegation through the play-offs, and we did reasonably well.
"Then I went to Oldham - I was the fifth signing, there were only five players when I first went to Oldham.
"That was a long, hard season. We were down at the bottom pretty much all the way through, and we did well again, we escaped the relegation battle and had a couple of games left.
"All in all, it was quite a difficult couple of seasons, and I'm just excited for this season now.
"If you look at it, I've done well at Motherwell and then I got into the team of the season in League One last term.
"So I think the natural progression would be the Championship.
"I've got to believe in myself and my ability - and I believe I'm a good Championship goalkeeper.
"I am here to prove that, and I am looking forward to the challenge."
Before pitting his wits against the Championship's best, of course, Ripley faces a return to Boundary Park, where he made such an impression in 2016/17.
Albion will be looking to make smooth progress in the Carabao Cup after booking themselves a second-round clash with Liverpool last term, thanks to a first-round win over League One Bury.
So will ex-Latic Ripley have any helpful tips for new manager Nigel Clough about unlocking John Sheridan's side?
"They are well-drilled, they've got John Sheridan, who is a very good manager," added the new Albion keeper.
"If I know him, they'll be hard to break down.
"I think I'm going to have to have be telling our gaffer what their weaknesses are - but to be honest, there aren't really that many.
"We have to be on our A game and try to beat them.
"Probably when we're out on the training pitch, they (Ripley's new teammates) might ask me a few questions!"