Andy Firth is ready to answer the call tomorrow night if preferred in goal for Chester ahead of new arrival Will Jaaskelainen.

The 21-year-old goalkeeper, signed on-loan from Liverpool in January, was expected to start for the Blues at the weekend prior to the clash with Bromley being postponed due to adverse weather, following Sam Hornby’s recall by parent club Port Vale.

Firth has since been joined at the Deva by Jaaskelainen, who has joined on a short-term loan deal from Crewe Alex. Promising keeper Jaaskelainen is the son of Bolton Wanderers legend Jussi, who made over 520 appearances for the Trotters during their most successful era of modern times under the stewardship of now-Everton boss Sam Allardyce.

Firth admits he ‘wasn’t expecting’ Hornby to move back to the League Two strugglers, but is relishing the opportunity that could come his way for the home encounter against Dover Athletic tomorrow night (7.45pm).

“I’ve been here for about a month now and I’ve been working hard with Sam whilst he’s been playing,” he explained.

“I’m really enjoying my time at Chester and it’s given me time to settle in, get to know the lads, the staff and if my chance now comes around then hopefully I will be ready.

“It was a weird one, we weren’t expecting it. I got a call off Dave Felgate on Monday to tell me Sam has gone back so make sure you’re ready for the weekend because that’s how quickly things can change in football. You’ve got to be ready and got to be ready to take your chance when it comes along.”

Firth, who isn’t costing Chester a penny after Liverpool agreed for him to go out and gain some vital experience, explained how National League football is ‘really harsh’ compared to the relative comforts of academy football, with points being crucial in the battle to avoid relegation into National League North.

“I had a loan spell at Witton Albion a few years back and that really opened my eyes and gave me the experience that has really helped me coming back to Chester now,” he added.

“That was a couple of divisions below this but it was my first loan spell and going into mens football, people are playing for points, playing for bonuses, it’s do or die in this league.

“In the academies you learn a lot on the football side but you don’t see much of the harsh realities of football where the gaffer could get sacked and players are leaving. It’s really harsh at this level but that is where you learn you trade.

“It’s not the best situation for the lads right now but I still think we’re due a run of results, our run this season and if we can get that run as soon as possible, I still think we will be alright.”