Last month Jamie Stott returned for his second loan spell at Mill Farm in search of regular first-team football having fallen out of favour at National League side Stockport County.

To date, Stott has been a mainstay in Jim Bentley’s defence, racking up eight first team appearances and impressing everybody at the football club with his assured performances alongside captain Alex Whitmore.

The relationship that the two have formed on the field has helped the team pick up two clean sheets and 19 points from the opening seven games. On the partnership and the team’s start to the season, Stott said:

“We complement each other really well. There’s a bit of balance there with me being a left-footed centre back and him being right-sided – naturally, I think you cover each other better when that’s the case. It helps that Whitts is a top lad and a top player, as well as a leader. We’ve got something good going on and long may that continue.

“Collectively, it’s been a really positive start to the season; the atmosphere is great; we’re top of the league; unbeaten and playing with lots of confidence. The most encouraging thing is that we still have more to come as a team.”

Competition for places is high throughout the squad, and none more so than in the defensive department where Emeka Obi is fit and raring to go after recovering from the ankle injury he suffered at Warrington Rylands in pre-season. Stott, though, believes the fight for a shirt is healthy.

“You have to approach every game or training session like it’s your last, because there are so many players waiting in the wings that could easily slot in and do the business. It’s down to that person to play well and keep the shirt, whether it’s me, ‘Whits’ or ‘Meeks’ that have been given the nod by the gaffer.”

With a promotion with Stockport County under his belt, the defender is no stranger to the rough-edged environs of the National League North. He made 26 appearances in that title-winning year, scoring 2 important goals and claiming the Young Player of the Season award. There was much praise for the characters in the dressing room that season, and Stott sees lots of comparisons in the one at Mill Farm.

“There’s lots of similar traits to what we had at Stockport. They’re all good lads, there’s no bad eggs, which is credit to the manager for assembling the squad that he has. Everyone has bought into his philosophy, works hard every day on the training ground and share the same ambitions of promotion.

“At County we based ourselves on hard work, team spirit, camaraderie and driving standards. Everything that we have here, to be honest. We have proven that no matter how you play performance-wise, if you are capable of grinding out results then you will be right up there. That comes down to the fine details and your desire to win. Not all of our games have been plain sailing and I think we’ve proven that we are able to grind out results. 

“We’re fortunate to have the facilities we have here, but we still have to go away from home and do the business. If we keep doing what we know we can do and keep working hard on the training pitch, then I don’t see why we can’t achieve what we have set out to achieve this season.”