Livingston summer signing gets the Scottish low-down from pals Jon Guthrie and Nicky Devlin

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LIVINGSTON new-boy Jack Fitzwater insists Jon Guthrie and Nicky Devlin have given him the low-down on what to expect from Scottish football.

Fitzwater, 22, penned a three-year deal with the Lions last week after being released by English Championship outfit West Brom.

While he failed to make a senior appearance for the Baggies, he did thrive during 18 months on loan at Walsall from January 2018.

He shone alongside Guthrie and Devlin – now mainstays at Livingston – and that played a massive part in tempting the promising defender north of the border.

However, Fitzwater says they have left him in no doubt of the weekly challenges he faces at the top-level in Scotland.

He said: “I spoke to Jon and Nicky a lot.

“Jon has been telling me about the town and helping me settle in and they have both let me know what a tough league it is.

“They’ve mentioned how competitive the game is up here – you could do really well one week, playing fluent football, then the next week it’s all about hard graft.

“So I’m expecting a tough challenge but, having got to know the lads over the last few days, I think we’ll be fine.”

Fitzwater is adamant he is ready to hit the ground running after playing a part in West Brom’s preparations to resume football following the Covid-19 outbreak.

He crossed swords with the likes of John McGinn, Anthony Martial and Paul Pogba in friendlies against Aston Villa and Manchester United so feel fit and sharp.

While he enjoyed those glamour bounce games, West Brom boss Slaven Bilic made it clear that he had no future at the Baggies and he insists now is the right time for a fresh start.

He continued: “I had 16 years at West Brom and for the last four years I’ve been out on loan, plying my trade and playing men’s football with Chesterfield, Hednesford and Walsall.

“And Slaven Bilic [West Brom manager] told me it would be best for me to go and play games.

“But I was still training at West Brom up until two weeks ago and I played pre-season games against Aston Villa and Man United.

“I felt in good shape and I was comfortable my ability would get me a new club.”

Speaking to LFC Live, Fitzwater received a baptism of fire after first linking up with Livi on trial nine days ago.

It was the Saturday when Livi carry out their pre-season tradition of a run from the
Tony Macaroni Arena to Almondell and Calderwood Country Park, followed by a session on the stairs and then a run back to the stadium.

He laughed: “Saturday couldn’t have been a tougher day to start! It was a 5K run into a 2K run upstairs then 5K back.

“That was really tough – but all the boys have made me feel really welcome.”

 
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