LIAM Whipps is happy to be honing his fitness levels during a productive loan spell at Halstead Town as the Witham Town defender wants to be ready for action when the call comes from his home town team.

The 21-year-old full-back is highly-regarded at the Village Glass Stadium, where he has come up through the club's youth and reserve ranks before breaking through into the first-team last year under former manager Adam Flint.

He is now looking to make an impact under current boss Mark Ashford, but with recent first-team opportunities in short supply, he felt a loan spell was necessary to make sure he was fully prepared when needed by his home club.

A loan spell with Ilford proved a success last season and now Halstead are ticking all the boxes for him.

“It’s been going very well for me at Halstead," said Whipps.

“It’s a bit of a drop down as I’ve come down two leagues from what I was experiencing at Witham but I get back to work with Mark (Ashford) and the boys where I can.

“I wanted to get game time and match fitness so I’m getting what I want from the loan.

“Mark and I approached each other at the same time with a view to getting me that because I knew that when I got my chance at Witham, I wanted to be fit and ready to take it.

“I thought it was best to get out on loan for however long to get games under my belt and get fit so that I’d be ready when my chance did come along.

“We’re just taking it month by month at the moment.

“Nothing is set in stone and I’m still training with Witham so we’re taking as it comes.

“I’m just enjoying learning from two good managers who are teaching me different things about the game."

While his time on the pitch is with Halstead at the moment, though, Whipps' thoughts aren't far away from what is happening at the Village Glass Stadium.

After a tough start to the campaign, Witham have been on an impressive run of Bostik League division north form since the end of November, but it has come as no surprise to the full-back.

He added: “I’ve been so pleased to see Witham going well because I’m a Witham boy through and through.

“I love the boys over there and I can’t fault them.

“I knew the results would come, it was just a matter of when.

“We’d been dominating 80 per cent of games and just slipping up in 20 per cent, which was when we were losing the results, but the boys are showing the league what we can play like."