Kilmarnock has been a good destination for young, inexperienced goalkeepers from England to ply their trade in recent years.

Lee Clark drafted in Freddie Woodman, aged 18 at the time, from Newcastle United. Although much older, Daniel Bachmann arrived at Rugby Park for a season-long loan from Watford under Steve Clarke too.

Will Dennis is the latest import from the Premier League to set his sights on a successful stint between the sticks for Killie. The 23-year-old moved to Ayrshire earlier this summer to join Derek McInnes’ side for the campaign.

He has played in every single competitive first-team game since, particularly impressing against Rangers last weekend. The stopper earned a clean sheet on what was an unusually quiet afternoon against one-half of the Old Firm.

Killie received a glowing recommendation from Dennis’ old teammates who had previously played for the Rugby Park outfit. And he is keen to follow a similar path as those who have gone before him, such as Woodman, to forge a career down south.

“It has been great so far, we’ve worked really hard in pre-season,” Dennis said. “We put a good shift in Belfast, we got the minutes in to get the fitness and up and the win at the weekend shows how much work we’ve done. 

“It’s a building block in my career, first of all I’m here to help the team do well, but it can help my game and help me get to the stage of the career I want to get to. 

“It’s great getting top-flight experience under my belt, the main thing as a goalkeeper is keeping the ball out of the net, and in this league, there are good players coming your way trying to score. 

“I’m loving the environment here, and the fans as well they are great, I know already that it’s a proper community club. 

“Scottish football and Kilmarnock is a great pathway for everyone. I know a few lads from Bournemouth who have had spells up here, Freddie [Woodman], Mikael Ndjoli, and Zeno Ibsen Rossi. I’ve heard good things about the Scottish league and Kilmarnock so that was a big factor in my decision.”

READ MORE: The on & off field factors helping new Killie players settle

On Woodman and Bachmann in particular, he said: “I can look at these guys to see how I can shape my career, they’ve been up here and had successful spells. 

“They’ve used loans up here to work out where the next step of their career is and they’ve played a lot of games down south now and had good careers so far.”

Dennis has experience working with some top goalkeepers during his time in the setup at Bournemouth. Asmir Begovic, Artur Boruc, Neto, and Aaron Ramsdale to name a few.

The latter still stays in touch with him now, which means a lot given his allegiances to Arsenal.

He added: “They’ve been brilliant, you take bits from their games just by training with them. The fact that I can take aspects from them considering what they’ve done in their careers is blessing for me.

“I keep in touch with him (Ramsdale), I’m an Arsenal fan so I’m always asking how things are going. 

“He comes down to Bournemouth to see the lads, we had a tight group of goalkeepers when we were younger. 

His start to life in Scotland couldn’t have got off to a better start. Through as group winners in the Viaplay Cup and then an opening day Premiership victory over Rangers.

Dennis understands there will likely be tough days ahead. But he is relishing that challenge.

He said: “The place was absolutely bouncing, we’re still buzzing now. We came in on Monday and it was a great vibe, a win like that is great for confidence. 

“The crowd have been great, even in the pre-season games they were excellent. 

“They are massive for the players, we scored a goal against Rangers and we knew they’d be coming in waves of attacks, so that crowd helps pull you through that.”