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Speare keen to play on

GOALKEEPER Jamie Speare is hoping Saturday's clash with play-off chasing Exeter is not his final game in a Stanley shirt.

GOALKEEPER Jamie Speare is hoping Saturday's clash with play-off chasing Exeter is not his final game in a Stanley shirt.

Shot-stopper Speare has been at the Interlink for five years and is keen to add another few years to his tally as the Reds go full-time next season. But the fans' favourite admits if he is released, there will be no hard feelings.

"If I go, I will just shake everyone's hand and get on with it," said Speare.

It has been a tough season for the 27-year-old. His league campaign didn't start off too well with a sending-off in the opening fixture at Aldershot. Since then, Speare has been in and out of the side with him and Jon Kennedy competing for the number one spot.

He isn't sure if he will start tomorrow but he and all the players want a place in the LDV Vans Trophy next season - and a top ten place could do that.

"All the lads still feel they have got plenty to play for," said Speare.

"We want to pit our wits against league sides again next season as, what the FA Cup has shown us, is that there isn't that much difference between the top of the Third Division/bottom of the Second Division and the Conference.

"At the start of the season, we probably would have taken tenth spot but the way the season has gone, and the run we went on, we are disappointed we won't be in the play-offs.

"It has just taken it's toll and, although the performances have been okay, we just haven't had the results in the last couple of months. But we all want to finish with a win."

Speare has won numerous Player of the Year awards in his time at Stanley, but Kennedy has usually been given the nod by boss John Coleman this season.

"I paid the ultimate price for the sending off at Aldershot," admitted Speare. "That was hard as it was 45 minutes into the new season. You never want to get sent off but if it had been six or seven games in, things might have settled down abit.

"People say I set the precendent as 14 others followed me with red cards - but I am not taking the blame for that. But, even though I think I have only started 10 league games, the season has flown.

"Aldershot doesn't seem too long ago. For me, it might be because I have been visiting new grounds, for others it is because they have enjoyed playing. We were all talking the other day and all agreed it has flown by."

Exeter, who need a win and Barnet to lose for a top five spot, have angered the Conference after threatening to take them to court over a 12-point deduction because they are in administration - but they managed to escape with their points in tact and without a fine.

"We don't really get involved in all that," said Speare. "The lads just see it as another team to take three points off."


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