JAKE Smeeton has revealed he rejected interest from other clubs earlier in the season because he wanted to stay loyal to Dorchester Town.
And the long-serving defender, who is set to become a dad for the second time soon, has seen that loyalty rewarded.
The 25-year-old signed a new contract with the Avenue outfit last weekend, keeping him at the Magpies until the end of the campaign with an option for next season.
Play-off contenders Bath City host Phil Simkin’s men at Twerton Park today (3pm), and Smeeton is glad to have his contract issues done and dusted.
Speaking about his new deal, he said: “It’s what I wanted. We began talks in January and along the way things were put on hold, but I finally managed to put pen to paper.
“I had interest from a couple of other clubs earlier in the season, but for me I wanted to stay to try and help Dorchester because they’ve always been good to me.
“I wanted to show a bit of loyalty rather than jump ship when things were getting hard.”
He added: “At the moment, I’m not planning on going anywhere.”
Before the birth of his second daughter, who is due to arrive on May 1, Smeeton’s main aim is to help the county town side escape from the Skrill South relegation zone.
Smeeton suffered a fractured toe in training before the first game of the campaign and that misfortune seemed to set the tone for the Magpies’ season.
But, with an upturn in form of late, the ex-Yeovil Town man feels Dorchester can beat the drop.
“At the moment, anything is possible,” he said. “The main thing is the players have got to want it and work hard.
“Draws are good but wins are better and we’ve got to pick up points away from home and more at home – hopefully we’ll be able to turn things around.
“With the players we’ve got I believe there is a chance we can stay up.
“We’ve had a hard time of it and had a bit of bad luck but in the last two or three weeks there has been a better feeling around the club.
“More recently, things have been picking up and people’s attitudes have improved.
“People have got that feeling we can win games and are a good enough team to stay in this league.”
*Nathan Craig and Ashley Yeoman's loan deals expire after today's game.