Nathan Ashmore admits he will never give up on his hopes of making it into professional football.
The Gosport Borough goalkeeper penned a new two-and-a-half-year deal at Privett Park last month, which keeps him at the club until the end of the 2016-17 campaign.
There is believed to be a clause in his contract, which would allow him to move if a full-time club came in for him.
But Borough have always made it clear none of their players would ever be prevented from pursuing their ambitions of turning professional.
While Ashmore was left kicking his heels after Borough’s Vanarama Conference South game was postponed just an hour before kick-off at Wealdstone on Saturday, he admitted he is still chasing his ‘ultimate dream’.
He said: ‘I’m still trying to get my way to a pro deal but I’ve signed a new two-year deal and that is good for me.
‘It’s my ultimate dream to go full-time as a footballer.
‘I just need that lucky break, which some people get when they are a bit younger.
‘I think it helps that I’m a bit older and I’ve only just turned 25. I’m playing week in, week out and we are doing well.
‘I was watching a programme about Peter Shilton and he played until he was 41.
‘Nowadays everyone is fitter, so hopefully I can keep going until I’m at least 50!
‘I’m one of those guys who believes I am going to make it as a full-time professional – it’s just a matter of when.’
While Ashmore relishes his role at Gosport, it does not stop him wanting to test himself at a higher level.
He said: ‘It’s my fifth season and it’s been an exciting four years with the club.
‘It’s nice to have a manager that trusts you and I think my all-round game has improved. In general, I am more confident and some people might say I am arrogant but I’m far from that.
‘Everyone who knows me knows I am a down-to-earth guy and I keep my feet on the ground.
‘I may moan a bit but that’s part of being a keeper!
‘Being at Gosport has been the best four years of my footballing career.
‘I remember when I was at Havant, I wasn’t playing and I could have gone to Bashley for a month but I said I wanted to go on loan to Gosport for the season. The rest is history now.
‘It was a tough decision. I was leaving a team from the Conference South to one that was two leagues below.
‘But I said to myself “sometimes in life, you need to take a step back to go two steps forward”.
‘I’ve been here for two promotions, I’ve played at Wembley and we are doing well this season and going for the play-offs. It’s been unbelievable.’
Ashmore’s impressive form is also a reason why Borough have the best defensive record in Vanarama Conference South this season, having conceded just 27 goals.
He said: ‘We’ve only conceded 27 goals in 29 games, so we have done really well.
‘I work hard in training and it really helps that our squad is so tight.
‘The chemistry in the team is outrageous.
‘It also helps I have had the same back four so often in front of me.’