BEN Richards-Everton reckons his Scottish education sharpened him up to make the grade in England.

The City defender became Gary Bowyer’s first signing for the club last month when he joined from Accrington.

Birmingham-born Richards-Everton had to wait until he was 25 to break into the English pro game two years ago.

He had previously played north of the border with Partick, Airdrie and Dunfermline following his move from non-league.

Richards-Everton looked back on his Scottish experience as good grounding for his career.

He said: “It definitely matured me as a player and I was involved in some big games. I think it helped me develop and I came back to England at the right time.

“It’s always been a dream of mine since I was a little kid to be a professional footballer.

“I didn’t think I would play in Scotland. But the way my career has gone, I had to go there.

“There was a situation when I was at Tamworth in the Conference and I had a few teams interested from League Two and League One.

“It was the year Tamworth got relegated but I actually had a decent season and there were clubs looking at me. But they weren’t willing to pay a fee.

“So, the only thing I could do was go to Scotland because there was no fee involved moving cross-border.”

Richards-Everton was a regular in the Dunfermline side that won Scottish League One in 2016 but suffered a serious knee injury the following year that kept him out for five months. That meant having to go on trial to earn a chance in England.

“Most teams didn’t know about me,” he added. “I could have stayed in Scotland but my dream was to play English football again.

“I played a couple of pre-season friendlies for Accrington and the sealer was when I had a good game against Huddersfield. John Coleman offered me a deal shortly after that.”

Richards-Everton has avoided any summer stress after agreeing a deal with City in May.

“I’ve never sorted out a new club so early in the off-season. You’ve got time to get your head round it and prepare properly.

“It’s part and parcel of being a footballer. You have a good two years somewhere and you’re in a position where you want to move on for yourself.

“But I’ve had to wait everywhere I’ve been before. This is much better than wondering where you are going to be the next season.”