Kyle McFarlane sees his loan spell at Barrow AFC as a great opportunity to show he can handle first-team football, after giving glimpses of his talent for the Bluebirds last weekend.

The 22-year-old made his debut in the 2-0 defeat at Havant & Waterlooville, which came just one day after completing a one-month deal from Birmingham City and training with his new teammates for the first time.

His pace caused the Hawks problems in the opening half-hour, but his influence on the game waned as the match wore on, due to AFC losing control of the clash at Westleigh Park.

The National League is the highest level of senior football McFarlane has featured in so far, after he spent two spells on loan at Nuneaton Borough in the last couple of years.

McFarlane said: “Obviously I had a taste of it during pre-season, when I went away with Birmingham’s first team.

“That was nice and then we brought in a couple of strikers, so it’s been hard for me to get back there, but I’ve been doing everything I can.

“When this came up, I thought it was a great opportunity to show myself somewhere else and show that I can do it not just at under-23 level, but that I can step up and do it at other levels as well.”

Despite impressing with Birmingham’s under-23s this season, McFarlane hasn’t been able to earn a first-team call-up with the Blues, who are mounting an unlikely play-off push in the Championship.

That has largely been down to the form of strikers Lukas Jutkiewicz and Che Adams, who have cemented themselves as the first-choice pairing of Blues manager Garry Monk.

McFarlane said: “To be fair, Birmingham are doing really, really well and I can’t moan about not getting a chance or anything because they’ve been outstanding and both strikers have gone into double figures before Christmas.

“They’ve done really well and that’s shown in the results that they’ve got and where the club’s at, at the moment.

“For me, it’s just keep working hard, keep pushing and keep trying to show the manager there what I can do, that I am ready.”

He’s had to quickly get to know his new colleagues at Holker Street, but Barrow wasn’t completely unfamiliar to McFarlane even before he joined.

“I played them last year, for Nuneaton in the FA Trophy,” McFarlane said, adding: “I got a phone call, heard what Barrow are about, where they are going forward and thought it was a good opportunity for me.

“Hopefully, going forward, there will be some much more positive days to come.”