Barrow AFC wing-back Rhys Norrington-Davies believes the physicality of the National League has helped to bring him on as a player during his loan spell at Holker Street.

The Wales under-21 international is experiencing his first taste of first-team football with the Bluebirds and is nearing the end of his season-long loan from Sheffield United.

Despite being the youngest member of AFC’s squad, the 19-year-old has developed into one of its most important, particularly excelling on the left wing when manager Ian Evatt fields a back three.

It was from there where he impressed again during last Saturday’s 2-1 home defeat against Boreham Wood, who tried to give Norrington-Davies some rough treatment, which was simply shrugged off.

Norrington-Davies said: “Obviously, this is my first season in first-team football and it has been a big change.

“The physicality is a big step, but it is a step up I needed to take to improve my game.”

Norrington-Davies also likes the way Barrow don’t resort to just lumping crosses into the box when chasing a game, as they prefer instead to probe for an opening.

It’s something they did several times against the Wood, only for the final ball or a reluctance to shoot proving to be their undoing.

“It’s not our team’s style,” Norrington-Davies said, adding: “We like to play intricate football, one-twos, with quick play, and when they’re camped in with centre-halves and centre-midfielders, it’s extremely hard to try and play football around the box.

“We battled back, picked up a goal in the first half, but we just couldn’t break through them in the second half.”

Norrington-Davies was named as the sponsors’ man of the match last weekend, far from the first time he has received that award, and Evatt is delighted with the commitment he has shown since his arrival from the Blades last September.

He said: “We have to remember that Nozzer is a loan player and the effort and will to win from someone who isn’t ours is a great credit to himself.

“It’s a fantastic thing for the other players to look at – if a loan player who belongs to Sheffield United and wants to win like that and wants to run through brick walls more than everything for this team and this club, then why can’t they?”