Jamal Blackman admits he is relishing the chance to test himself in the Sky Bet Championship once again after agreeing a season-long loan deal with Rotherham United.
The 26-year-old goalkeeper has made the temporary switch from Premier League outfit Chelsea to become manager Paul Warne’s fifth addition of the 2020/21 summer transfer window.
Blackman caught Paul Warne’s eye with a string of impressive displays for Bristol Rovers in Sky Bet League One and the goalkeeper has insisted he is looking forward to the opportunity of showcasing his talents in England’s second tier.
“I’m really looking forward to it. I know it’s a great club, from being up in Sheffield I know quite a bit about Rotherham as well. It feels really good, I’ve been up north before and everyone is really welcoming. The football is good up here as well, everyone is really competitive and it’s a good way of life,” Blackman told www.themillers.co.uk.
“I want to be able to push myself and being back in the Championship is a really good way of showing my ability. I was really happy at Bristol Rovers playing football again and being part of the team and I think this is the next step for me to push myself.
“I’ve been out a while because of the virus, I’m just looking forward to getting back out there again and playing the games.”
The Millers coaching staff have garnered quite the reputation for developing young goalkeepers over recent seasons. Marek Rodak enjoyed two seasons at AESSEAL New York Stadium before guiding Fulham to the Premier League last term, while Daniel Iversen also enjoyed a successful spell between the sticks.
This is a fact that is not lost on Croydon-born stopper Blackman, who highlighted the coaching team’s track-record as a big factor for his decision to make the move up to South Yorkshire for the 2020/21 season.
“I’ve heard a lot about the manager, so I’m really looking forward to working with him. I know he wants to play good football and I want to be a part of that going forward and help him to build a team.
“Knowing the goalkeeping coach and speaking to a few people about the players here and how well they’ve done once they’ve moved on after being a part of this team, you build on that. That’s a part of football and you have to learn from each club and go from there.
“As you can tell, I’m 6ft 7 so I’m a very tall goalkeeper, I liked to think I’m quite commanding in the box coming for crosses and I’m not too bad with my feet as well, so hopefully I can implement that in the games,” Blackman added.