Clough to loan keeper again

Atkins will have another chance to gain experience elsewhere

Clough: Believes Atkins is ready to step up from last season

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Derby boss Nigel Clough is set to send goalkeeper Ross Atkins out on loan again next season.

The 21-year-old spent two spells at non-league Tamworth last term and has previously had short-term stints with Southport, Burton and Kidderminster.

Clough rewarded Atkins with his Derby debut against Reading on the final day of last season.

And while the Rams boss intends to loan him out again, he is eager for the young keeper to test himself at a higher level than last term.

"We want Ross to go out and get some experience on loan again," Clough said.

"In the last six months or so he has really come on and you can see he really benefited from the loan spells he has had in the Blue Square Premier.

"He deserved his start at Reading on the final day of last season and we think he is now ready for a season in the Football League.

"Hopefully we can get him out at a League Two side for the season, or half a season to start with."