Brad Halliday’s dream is to break into the first team of his beloved Middlesbrough.
But the 20-year-old current hope is to help Hartlepool United back up the League Two table.
Going out on loan was a big decision for me.
Halliday joined Pools two weeks ago on a month’s loan from Boro following a hamstring injury to Michael Duckworth and a three-match suspension to Carl Magnay.
And after just two appearances in a blue shirt, it looks like he will take some dislodging from the right-back role.
Halliday spent much of last season in League Two at York City, where he showed considerable talent, especially going forward.
The Redcar youngster began the current campaign as Middlesbrough skipper in the U21 side which plays in the Barclays Premier Reserve League.
But he says he is enjoying life at Victoria Park and playing in the Football League.
“I played at this level at York last season, and I think it’s helped me as a player and boosted my career,” he said.
“I was a regular for Boro reserves and started as captain this season, which is good for confidence.
“But this is completely different, especially the physicality.
“Going out on loan was a big decision for me.
“I enjoy it at Boro and want to break into the first-team, but to develop as a player I need to come out on loan.
“It’s challenging in League Two.
“Under-21 football is about getting the ball down and passing it, it’s good, and is a good grounding for League Two.
“But this is a lot harder and a lot stronger.”
Halliday made a great debut at Exeter and it got even better at the weekend, when he collected the man of the match award against Cambridge United.
However, the marauding full-back admitted he’d have been happier with three points.
“The result left us disappointed,” said Halliday, who will line up in the back four again at Yeovil Town on Saturday.
“We deserved to win [against Cambridge]. It was probably just the last pass, shot and final ball which was the difference.
“I’ve played two games for Hartlepool and only got one point, when we could have come away with six.
“But the point on Saturday can set us off on a good run.”