The 27-year-old made more than 300 appearances for Oxford United but becomes the fifth free agent to join this summer after Jordan Rhodes, Matty Pearson, Ollie Turton and Lee Nicholls.
Ruffels faces the considerable obstacle of Harry Toffolo - though he can also play in midfield. It is not something which daunts him.
"A bit of competition doesn’t do any harm," he said. "That’s the aim really, to try and get in the team.”
Ruffels scored an impressive seven goals last season, creating six more. He played 48 times for the Us, all the way through to the League One play-offs, but the financial realities of the pandemic Football League saw him released.
Asked about the versatility coach Carlos Corberan mentioned on Ruffels's arrival, he said: “I was a midfielder before but now I’m a full-back and the last three years I’ve enjoyed defending first and foremost.
“The challenge of (facing) wingers every week is quite exciting to me and now I’ve added the attacking role to my game as well – getting forward, back stick headers and stuff like that, on the ball I’m pretty good as well.
“I’m excited and hopefully I can show what I can do.”
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