A productive loan spell for Saddlers youngster...Young defender Theo Vassell believes he has benefited greatly from his time on loan with Chester.
The 20-year-old returned to Walsall earlier this month after his loan spell with the Blues came to an end.
He scored one goal in 16 league appearances for the National League outfit, helping them keep an impressive ten clean sheets.
And Vassell, who played at right-back for Chester, says he thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience.
“I really enjoyed my time there,” said Vassell. “It was a completely different experience, my first competitive season playing first-team football and I can honestly say it has really helped me.
“The standard is not easy at all – it took me by surprise. It’s a tough, aggressive league and I would recommend any young player to go there because you’re going to learn a lot. It’s a lot more physical.
“I feel I’ve matured from the experience and I’ve grown from a boy to a man. I’ve learned a lot, on and off the pitch.
“I made 16 appearances for Chester and at one point we had seven clean sheets in a row, and only one defeat in 17 games.
“The team have done well and I’d say the experience has helped me massively. It’s helped me become more vocal as well.”
Vassell has particularly enjoyed playing in front of large crowds, having not experienced that before in his fledgling career.
“That has been one aspect I’ve really enjoyed,” he said. “I’ve played in under-21 and reserve games where you’re playing in front of coaches and trying to impress them, but not many fans.
“It’s been great to play in front of crowds like I have done this season. The biggest was in the derby against Wrexham - there were about 5,500-6,000 and the atmosphere was amazing.
“Most games there are around 2-3,000 and it’s a really good atmosphere. I’d say it drives me on a bit more and it helps me to play in front of big crowds.”
Vassell’s performances certainly impressed Chester boss Jon McCarthy, who has already expressed an interest in getting him back on loan until the end of the season.
“I’m not sure yet if I’ll be going back there or not, but whatever happens, I’ll look forward to whatever I’m doing – whether it’s going back there or staying here,” Vassell added.
“All I want to do is play first-team football which is the most important thing in my career at the moment.”