Date: 12th July 2017 at 4:04am
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Youngster Ryan Sweeney had said he’s more than willing to spend all of 2017/18 away from Stoke as long as it bolsters his development to establish himself in the first team from next season onwards.

Having been taken out by manager Mark Hughes for our pre season training trip to Switzerland, Sweeney got 45 minutes under his belt in the opening victory over Neuchatel Xamax with the highly rated centre half lining up alongside Ryan Shawcross in the game.

With a loan spell out with Bristol Rovers in the second half of last season where he made 16 starts for the side, Sweeney said post game to the Official Website that he’s looking to impress during pre season but he’s happy to head out again as long as it serves his greater long term purpose.

‘It`s fantastic to be out here with the group, and it is a real opportunity for me to develop my game. I spent my first five months at the Club with the group but then moved out on loan, which was always part of the plan.’

Reflecting on his time with Bristol Rovers, he felt he had done well and had certainly improved.

‘I felt I did well there, I enjoyed my time, and I feel it has certainly helped me to improve my game. Of course the aim is to break into the team here because I am a Stoke City player, but if that means going out on loan for a full season then I will be more than happy to look at that.’

With the 20 year old playing alongside skipper Shawcross for the opening half of the friendly, he knew that he could learn more by playing alongside our first team seniors.

‘It can only help me playing alongside players like Ryan, and other senior guys who are regulars for their country. Of course, there is a huge difference in quality in training and in matches, but I will use that to my advantage and improve from it.’

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