Scott Loach hopes his National League performances can win him a new deal at Hartlepool United.
The goalkeeper was Pools’ man of the match on Saturday as Matthew Bates’ men secured a valuable away day point at second-placed Leyton Orient.
It was the latest in a long line of solid performances from the former Watford man, who last year won both the players’ and fans’ player of the year.
And Loach is hopeful that with his contract up in the summer, this will not be his last season at the Super 6 Stadium - with the 30-year-old keen on netting another two years at the club.
“I love it here at Hartlepool,” said Loach about his immediate future.
“I am playing for my future with my contract up in May. I want to stay.
“If I can keep playing and keep learning I will be happy to stay for another two years.”
Loach has ambitions to play higher - he wants a return to the Football League.
But he’s keen to do it with Hartlepool, not look for a quick fix elsewhere.
“It would be silly of me if I said I did not want to play higher. But when I look at the league above there aren’t really any teams I see that are bigger than Hartlepool,” said the goalie, signed by Craig Harrison following the club’s relegation from League Two.
“I have got two young kids and I want to make them proud.
“I feel I am at a club where I can play and do well.
“I am not settled - as we have a very good young keeper (Ryan Catterick) behind me. Hartlepool is in a great catchment area - they can pick up a keeper from Newcastle, Sunderland or Middlesbrough easily so I have to be on my toes.”
While Loach is happy at Pools and delighted to be playing week-in, week-out he is far from content with a club the size of Hartlepool operating in the National League long-term.
He has revealed that one of the main reasons he penned a deal last summer was because he saw the club as a promoted side in-waiting.
“I was certain we would get out of this division with the players that we signed last year,” he said.
“I still don’t know how we didn’t finish much higher. Maybe we got a shock to the system.
“I think this is a lot tougher league than people make it out to be, from top to bottom.
“We are definitely a lot more organised. Matthew, Ged and Ross - he worked with a Champions League back four - all have their input.
“If you look at the likes of Macclesfield and Lincoln who have gone up in recent years they have been nothing more than well organised and well-drilled.
“The football is not pretty in this league at times but it is consistency that gets you out of the league.
“Not fearing anyone is another factor. You see the likes of Harrogate who step straight into the league and have no fear.”
Six points off the top, with seven wins and 28 points to their name after 16 games - how does Loach assess his side’s chances this campaign?
“I fancy we will be up there - we are a big team in this league,” he said.