CAPTAIN Dave Rainford says he's desperate to remain at Chelmsford City next season.
The Clarets' skipper has struggled with injuries, suspensions and poor form this season and he'll meet club officials on either Thursday or Friday this week to thrash out his future.
"I would like to stay," he told the Chronicle. "I think I've always said that.
"I truly care about this club, it's feels like it's my club. But you're judged as a player and decisions have to be made.
"I've had some brief conversations (about staying) but none where I could definitely say: 'I'm staying'.
"Put it this way, if the club wants me to stay I would love to."
Rainford feels there's a sense of unfinished business. He gave up his job as a professional footballer with Dagenham & Redbridge four years ago to join City part-time while he took a job as a teacher.
Now he wants to see through his dream of taking City up to the Blue Square Bet Premier.
"On a personal note when I joined four years ago I always thought getting this club promoted was very achievable," he said. "It's disappointing that it hasn't happened yet but if we can do it, it would cap off my career perfectly. I still feel I've got a lot to offer."
Despite finishing as City's top scorer with 11 league goals – 14 in all competitions – the midfielder failed to pick up a single man-of-the-match award from the supporters, the first time that's happened in his four seasons at the club.
"I have tried hard this year," he said. "Could I have done better? Probably, yes. I'm not one to paper over the cracks of my performances.
"This year if everyone looks at themselves individually then some might be pleased but I'm not like that.
"Even if I'd scored 30 goals I'd probably still think I could have done better. To be honest it's all still a bit raw at the moment."
The 33-year-old missed two months of the season with groin and a knee injuries respectively and was then suspended for four games during the run-in after picking up a second red card of the season at Sutton United.
Both dismissals he thinks were incorrect and insists he's now over his injury problems.
He's also scoffed at suggestions he could retire.
"I feel fit and while I acknowledge that I'm getting older I don't have to concede that I have to finish playing," he said.
"I've got no injuries now. I intend to work hard and I've got no intention of hanging my boots up."
There's a feeling amongst the club's hierarchy that he could remain at the Clarets but perhaps in a different capacity.
Chairman Mansell Wallace said: "I haven't really spoken to Glenn (Pennyfather) about David but he's a big person and a big presence to have around whether he's playing or not.
"He's a big player for us because he can come on and turn a game around but sometimes we have to accept that people can't always do the full 90 minutes.
"Maybe there's a role for him within the club whereby he can come on for a cameo of 45 or 50 minutes."
By next week Rainford's future should become clearer, as it will for several other members of the first team squad.