Danny Andrew has what it takes to make Fleetwood Town’s left back slot his own - according to manager Graham Alexander.
The 24-year-old, signed last summer from Macclesfield Town, has been given a second shot at League football by Fleetwood, having failed to make his mark in a stint at Cheltenham Town.
But his time at Town so far has been tough - battling for a first team place with former Blackpool ace Stephen Crainey before a serious injury ruled him out for five months of the campaign.
Andrew, having broken into the first team, suffered knee ligament damage in Town’s Boxing Day defeat to Bradford City - a long hard rehabilitation following.
But his star could be set to rise next season with a clean bill of health and rival Crainey among the victims of Town’s summer cull.
“When he got injured I thought we missed him,” admitted Alexander.
“It’s been stop start for him since he came here.
“But hopefully now he’ll go away over the summer and come back with a real zest for nailing down that left-back slot.
“We know he’s a very good defender, he’s got a wand of a left foot and now he needs to step on and prove himself as a League One player.”
With Crainey gone Andrew is now likely to be Fleetwood’s first choice at left back - Stephen Jordan offered a new contract but likely to continue at centre half should he choose to stay.
And with Town looking to recruit young, unproven talent, Andrew is unlikely to lose his place in the pecking order - as he did last summer when Crainey arrived just weeks before the start of the season.
His return for the final game of last season - a 2-1 win at Port Vale - shows Alexander is keen to give him game time.
And the Fleetwood boss was willing to take a risk to get a look at Andrew ahead of the summer break.
He said: “We were unsure whether or not to put him in on that last day,”
“We didn’t want any more setbacks over the summer, particularly with all the hard work he’s put in.
“But he’s worked so hard with Luke (Bussey).
“I spoke to Luke the week before and he thought he was up for it and deserved it and it proved the right decision.”
Town released seven senior players - including left back Crainey following the completion of their first ever League One campaign.
David Ball, Mark Roberts, Stewart Murdoch, Steven Schumacher, Jeff Hughes and Liam Hogan also departed Highbury.
Doubts remain over two further big names.
Keith Southern and Scott Davies were both named on the list of Fleetwood Town players under contract for the new campaign.
But the goalkeeper and former Seasiders midfielder are both understood to be surplus to requirements.
They could be transfer listed or released by mutual consent - a strong possibility with Fleetwood looking to free up cash under a squeezed wage budget.
Five players - Nathan Pond, Stephen Jordan, Tyler Forbes, Gareth Evans and Jamille Matt have all been offered new deals.
However, the majority have now headed away on holiday following the conclusion of the season with contract talks expected to be resumed on their return.
One man who has not gone away for the summer is striker Matt.
He is expected to spend the next two months working with club staff as he completes his rehabilitation from a serious knee injury.