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Hedges: "I want to showcase my abilities here."

9 March 2017

Ryan Hedges spoke with the assembled media at Oakwell today..

The winger signed for the Reds back in January and has had to be patient in waiting for his opportunity. He came off the bench to assist Tom Bradshaw's goal on Tuesday night in the 2-1 defeat at QPR and he felt he impressed in his time on the pitch. 

"Personally I felt I'd done well," he said. "I tried to create as much as possible but obviously with the game being 2-0 and coming on as a substitute there's added pressure to come on and do something.

"I think I got a little touch through for Bradders' goal so I think I made an impact. I thought I did well and hopefully I can build on it."

Despite Tuesday night being just his second appearance since arriving from Swansea City, the Welsh U21 international believes the work he's doing on the training ground and the minutes he's had in the U23s will hold him in good stead if he's to impact on Paul Heckingbottom's first team.

As he explained: "I've been here a month now and been playing games with the U23s as well as the couple of sub appearances with the first team so I'm learning every day, about what the Gaffer wants from me, and the roles and responsibilities of how he's wanting me to play.

"I think I'm getting there, I really am, I'm learning daily so hopefully I can get more chances and then prove to him what I can do for the team."

Having swapped Swansea and the Premier League for Barnsley and the Championship, some might say it's a step back for Hedges but the young forward believes there's little between the Clubs, especially in terms of the facilities and coaching.

He said: "I wouldn't say there's a massive difference. Obviously they're a Premier League team at the moment but I'd say the setup and the attention to detail here is right up there. 

"The reason to actually come to Barnsley was that I didn't really want to be sitting and playing in the U23s, I want to be out there playing proper football on a Saturday at 3pm. 

"It's always been my dream to be a professional footballer and I want to showcase my abilities here."

Having spent time on loan away from the Liberty Stadium over the last couple of years, with Leyton Orient, Stevenage and most recently with Yeovil Town, Hedges feels that has helped him cope with the step up in quality since arriving at Oakwell.

"It's a massive step up, playing at this level. But I think my three loan spells have helped me with that, and whilst it is a step up, playing in the Championship I think it's one I can manage.

"When I signed I suppose the manager saw me as a project but hopefully with the two-and-a-half year contract I can improve enough over the rest of this season to force myself into his plans and get ready to kick on next season."

You can see the full interview with Ryan Hedges over on Barnsley Player HD.

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