Barrow AFC midfielder Kemy Agustien admits that the combative nature of the National League is something that he has had to get used to over the last month.

Agustien has had a promising start to life at Holker Street after signing last month as a free agent on a deal until January, playing well in the middle of the park despite lacking match sharpness.

The Curacao international’s four games for the Bluebirds have been his first taste of first-team football this season, having previously maintained his fitness with Birmingham City’s under-23s.

But he has added some much-needed experience at Holker Street, while the former Swansea and Brighton man has adapted impressively to what is his first experience of playing in English football’s fifth tier.

Agustien has even shown he’s a dab hand at set-pieces, as demonstrated when he scored his first goal for Barrow with a wonderful free kick in last Saturday’s 2-0 victory at Braintree Town.

Agustien said: “The National League is very direct, if you can call it like that.

“I’ve been used to, position-wise, tactical stuff and you get more time in the Premier League and the Championship than you get in this league. But I think if you can play in this league then you can play everywhere.”

On arrival, Agustien became one of the most experienced members of AFC’s squad and brought with him know-how from playing at a much higher level, having played top-flight football with Swansea and in Holland.

Midfield has proven to be a key area during his new club’s recent upturn in form, as he and fellow thirty-something Jason Taylor have provided a steadying influence from the team’s engine room.

Agustien said: “I’m 32, so I think I’m one of the oldest in the team and I’ve been to loads of places, I’ve played for loads of clubs and I’ve seen a lot.

“This is my first time playing in this league, though, and I’m trying to help the younger lads while trying to learn from them as well because you can always learn, every day. It’s going the right way and I feel good to be here at the moment.”

Barrow have won seven points from nine since Agustien was partnered with Taylor in midfield, which has provided additional protection to the defence while also allowing John Rooney to thrive further forward.

“Tayls gets stuck in, which is not really my style of game, but if everybody needs to do it, I need to do it as well and they try to get me on the ball, which is a very good thing,” Agustien said.

“I feel very good having Tayls next to me and Roons in front of us because the way we work together, it suits us perfectly.”