Callum McFadzean, the Sheffield United defender, has revealed how joining Burton Albion on loan equipped him with the knowledge required to win a place in Nigel Adkins’ first team squad.
McFadzean, a graduate of United’s Steelphalt Academy and member of the side which reached the 2011 FA Youth Cup final, helped the Staffordshire club qualify for the League Two play-offs after being dispatched to the Pirelli Stadium 18 months ago.
And, speaking ahead of this evening’s meeting between the two teams, McFadzean told The Star: “I’ll always remember Burton Albion but, in the back of my mind, I was always a Sheffield United player. The aim was always to come back and try to get in the team here.
“I came back feeling much more confident. I haven’t made it yet - no way - but going on loan gave me more know-how. Playing league football helps you understand the game more, what managers want, how to kill-off games and stuff like that. Playing for three points, week in week out, gives you an edge.”
Despite nursing an injury, McFadzean, aged 21, plans to attend tonight’s fixture between League One’s first and sixth ranked sides. Reflecting on his first spell with Albion - he returned for a six month period a month after their defeat in the League Two play-off final by Fleetwood Town - McFadzean said: “I’d been in the play-offs with United before, in 2012, but there were players in front of me at the time and so it was best to get some games. That seemed the sensible option.”
“The manager here (Nigel Adkins) now pulled me aside from day one and gave me a clean slate,” McFadzean added. “Which is all you want to hear and I want to repay that.”