The rivalry between Hartlepool United and Darlington is not lost on Ben Dudzinski.
But the goalkeeper knows that by breaking down those barriers and producing the goods for Darlo gives him the best possible chance of extending his stay at the Northern Gas & Power Stadium.
At the end of the day this is just football
“I am aware of the rivalry,” the 21-year-old said, who has just five months left on his Pools deal.
“But at the end of the day this is just football.
“For me the most important thing was to get gametime, and whether that was Pools biggest rivals or not that didn’t matter to me one bit.
“I want to do well for Darlington. And I want to do well for Hartlepool, too.
“Hopefully I can perform well during my time at the club and it makes me a better player for Hartlepool in the future.”
Durham University graduate Dudzinski, signed on his first professional contract in the summer after a successful trial, has seen his pathway to the Pools first-team blocked by the considerable talents of Trevor Carson and Adam Bartlett.
And as a result he was sent out to learn the tools of his trade at rivals Darlington by manager Craig Hignett.
It is a move that, despite just two starts, is already paying dividends according to Dudzinski.
The 21-year-old keeper said: “It is hard for me at Hartlepool. In some ways it is brilliant that I can learn off Barts and Trev every day in training but my path to the team is blocked by those two.
“Trev was right what he said - we have two no 1 goalkeepers at the club. Barts would get in most sides in League Two.
“That is what I am up against at Hartlepool.
“But this is the first professional club I have been at, so I want to succeed.”
Dudzinski is expected to again be in Darlo’s starting XI for their Vanarama National League North clash with Kidderminster.