Caleb Richards said he is enjoying every minute on loan at the Tampa Bay Rowdies, with the young City defender relishing the opportunity to play in the USL Championship.
Richards, who will stay with the Rowdies until the end of their season, featured for the Club in their first two games where they picked up victories over Memphis 901 FC and the Pittsburgh Riverhounds.
Speaking exclusively to canaries.co.uk from Tampa Bay, Richards said: “I have settled in really well and the last two weeks have been really good because we have won both of our games and the whole team is on a real high.
“I felt really prepared when I joined the team for pre-season training. I had to get used to a new position and I am now playing centre-back on the left of the three. But I was already half way through a season back at home so I felt prepared to play.
“The first two weeks were hard in the heat but now it’s a bonus because everyone who comes here has to deal with it and I’ve got used to it now.
“Everyone has been really welcoming and I live near most of the players as well which is nice.”
The Rowdies got their season off to a perfect start with a 1-0 victory over Memphis away from home, with Richards playing the full 90 minutes.
He said: “That game was really exciting. I felt nervous at first because they had fireworks going off before the game. But we scored early and then we managed the game and defended well. It felt really good to win and it made the journey back a lot easier.”
Richards then got a further 90 minutes on the pitch in the Rowdies’ first home match on March 16 which they won 2-0.
“It felt like a must-win game for us because there was a big build up because it was our first home game and we had a kick-off party the Wednesday before the game as well with all of the season ticket holders,” said Richards.
“It went really well and all of the fans have been really welcoming. I spoke to quite a few of them at the kick-off party.
“It’s a bit different playing out here, it feels a lot more like an event and there’s a group called Ralph’s Mob which are the die-hard fans.”
Next up for the Rowdies is another away game against St Louis Football Club on Saturday, March 23.
Richards said: “They have won their first two games like us so it will be a good game. I’m looking forward to the rest of the season and doing well with the team.”
Photos: First and second photos courtesy of Matt May/Tampa Bay Rowdies, third photo courtesy of Memphis 901 FC.