Sheffield United's Kacper Lopata reveals first-team ambition after impressive start to Southend United loan
Sheffield United defender Kacper Lopata hopes to prove he is ready to play senior football after an impressive start to his loan spell with National League side Southend United.
As The Star reported recently, United exploited a quirk of the transfer window system to dispatch Lopata and his Bramall Lane teammate Zak Brunt to the south coast until January, after the window for Football League and Premier League clubs to do business had slammed shut.
The Poland U20 international impressed on his debut against Boreham Wood, before he and Brunt enjoyed their first win in Shrimpers colours as they hammered Dover 4-1 on Tuesday evening.
"I don’t want to play academy football anymore," said Lopata, who played for United in their EFL Cup wins over Carlisle United and Derby County earlier in the season.
"I want to get experience and exposure here. I’m going to be playing against experienced and intelligent players and strikers who have been in the game for a while, so I’ll be picking up bits I might not pick up in the U23s.
“This is the next step for me now. I want to be a first team player."
Victory over Dover was only Southend’s third of the season and saw them move up to 20th in the National League table. Brunt and Lopata worked with Darren Currie, Southend’s assistant coach and nephew of Blades legend Tony, during his temporary spell as United’s U23 coach last season.
"We bounce off each other," Lopata said of Brunt’s presence at Roots Hall.
"We’re good friends and made our debuts together. We’ve been on pre-season together with the first team too and it’s good to have that person.
"It will be more important when things aren’t going right, and on our days off. There’s always someone there, and I think that’s important."
Brunt finished the win against Dover with two assists. The Chesterfield-born youngster, who once impressed Guti whilst on trial with Atletico Madrid, also featured for the Blades in the early stages of their EFL Cup campaign but fell further down the Blades pecking order following the signings of Conor Hourihane and Morgan Gibbs-White.