Hawks central defender Sam Pearce is determined to make the most of his three-month loan spell with Southern League Gosport Borough.
Pearce, who moved to Privett Park last Friday, was disappointed to start on the losing side in a 1-0 league defeat at Bedford Town at the weekend.
The 25-year-old is hoping to record a first win in Borough colours tonight, though, when Gosport begin their Red Insure League Cup campaign at Winchester City (7.45pm).
Experienced campaigner Pearce believes a successful time with Borough can help him return to the top of his game.
Pearce eventually wants to get back into Blue Square Bet South football with the Hawks but, for the time being, he is committed to helping the Borough cause.
‘I have come to Gosport to get as many games under my belt as I can,’ said Pearce.
‘For various reasons it has been two months since I played regularly.
‘I didn’t want to leave but, after a long chat with new manager Lee Bradbury, I see this as a chance to get playing again.
‘Playing for Borough is a new challenge and I am looking forward to it.
‘I have been brought in to use my experience and help shore up the defence a little because they have been conceding poor goals.
‘It is a chance for me to get back playing at my best because, after two months out, things like fitness, positioning and anticipation are all areas to work on.
‘Eventually, I hope to get back playing regularly with the Hawks.’
At his best, Pearce provides a massive physical presence in the heart of the defence and, on occasions, he has been known to cause havoc in the opposition’s penalty area at set-pieces.
Pearce would be the first to admit he hasn’t hit the target as often as he should.
Borough’s main concern this season, though, has been shipping poor goals from set-pieces and Pearce should help tighten things up in that area.
Pearce rose through the Hawks junior ranks between 2002 and 2006, before spending time with Walton Casuals, Fleet Town, Bognor and Salisbury City.
He also had a spell playing cricket in South Africa before returning to Westleigh Park in the summer of 2009.
In an eventful start to this term, the defender battled his way back into the first team, despite previous boss Stuart Ritchie bringing in two new central defenders during pre-season.
Two sending offs in successive games, however, proved a huge setback and Pearce lost his place.
When Ritchie was sacked after just 10 games, Pearce found himself in a totally new role, assisting stand-in boss Adie Aymes from the dugout.
As much as he enjoyed the experience, he is glad to get out of the tracksuit and back on to the pitch again.
‘I want to get back playing well and help Gosport climb the league,’ said Pearce. ‘Then we’ll go from there.’