Downes raring to go

Torquay new boy happy with change of scenery after summer move

Aaron Downes: Defender is happy with how things have gone since joining Torquay from Chesterfield

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Torquay United's summer signing Aaron Downes is relishing the upcoming campaign after securing a change of scenery.

The Australian ended his eight-year affiliation with Chesterfield over the summer and signed a one-year contract with the Gulls.

The 27-year-old found his first-team chances restricted with Chesterfield after recovering from a long-term knee injury last season, but he says that he has taken to Devon like a duck to water.

"There is a great bunch of lads here and they have made me very welcome, but so have the staff and supporters as well," Downes told Sky Sports.

"It has been an easy place to settle into and it is a new experience for me having played for Chesterfield for eight years.

Potential

"Players would come and go, but you would still be there year after year, so moving to a new club and all that comes with it has been both a different and enjoyable experience.

"I've only been here a short time, but the club seems to be well-run and the people in charge know what they are doing and run things the right way, which is crucial in today's game.

"I feel that Torquay have got the potential to play at a higher level than League Two and if I can play my part in helping them do that then great.

"I don't want to put too much pressure on myself or the club at the moment, but I definitely feel that it is a place where I can get my career back on track.

"I'm very grateful that the manager has "taken a punt" on me, as he said, and I will be looking to repay that faith by producing performances on the pitch and playing in as many games as possible this season."

Downes made his first appearance for the club in last weekend's pre-season defeat against Leeds and, having featured for both AFC Wimbledon and Yeovil, this summer the centre-half is fit and ready for the start of term in a fortnight's time.

He added: "I've played five games so far during this pre-season, but obviously they weren't all 90 minute run-outs.

"I've played at least 45 minutes in each of them though, so to get 75 minutes on Friday night was really good and I'm feeling fit and raring to go now.

"We've still got three games to go, with Exeter tonight and Stoke next week, so there is plenty to look forward to before the opening game of the season."