ASHLEY Eastham is determined to make the most of his loan move from Blackpool to Bury.

The 20-year-old centre-half made his debut in Saturday’s 2-1 defeat against Charlton Athletic and made an instant impression with an assured display.

He has signed a six-month deal at Gigg Lane and he is hopeful it will benefit his career in the same way as his time in League Two with Cheltenham Town did.

“My time at Cheltenham really helped me,” the Preston-born ace said. “I had two spells with them and it was a fantastic experience for me.

“I had a great time in League Two and I think I turned from a boy to a man there. It has stood me in good stead to come to Bury and improve.

“Some people have said I can use Bury as a stepping stone but I don’t see it like that.

“I am coming here because it is a quality football club and if it is a stepping stone for me, then fair enough.

“At the end of the day I’m playing in a quality league against some big clubs. I am fortunate to be given a chance by the manager.”

Bury boss Richie Barker is likely to rest key players like Ryan Lowe, Andy Bishop and Efe Sodje against Crewe in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy tonight, with youngsters Lenell John-Lewis, Kudus Oyenuga and Andrai Jones expected to be given an opportunity to impress.

Eastham, however, is desperate to play as he builds up match fitness and a familiarity with his new surroundings.

“I want to play against Crewe – that is what I am here for,” he said. “ I love playing first-team football and sampling an atmosphere, it is what you want at 3 o’clock on a Saturday.

“I don’t like to sit and watch the results come in. I like to be out there kicking the ball myself.

“The positive thing about this loan move is that it is for six months so that tells me Richie believes I am good enough to play an important role in his first team.

“The manager said he has been looking at me for a long time and as soon as I heard there was a loan deal in the offing I jumped at the chance to come and play football. I’d love to help push Bury up the league in my time here.”