Brad McGowan believes that securing his Boston United future will help him concentrate on becoming a better player.
The defender went from Player of the Year to surplus to requirements at Alfreton in the space of one summer.
But after making his loan move from the Reds permanent, he believes he is now free to focus on his football once more.
“I know what the plan is now,” he said.
“When I was here on loan I was always thinking ‘am I staying or am I going back?’
“Now I can get my head around it and concentrate on playing games.
“Here I feel I will play games and progress in the league.”
McGowan’s place in the Pilgrims’ squad was all the more important after fellow centre backs Jack Cowgill and Tom Batchelor both decided to quit the club earlier this season, something he admits took him by surprise.
“I don’t think me or anyone in the team epxected the departure of the two centre halves, but that’s what’s happened. That’s football, it’s how it is,” McGowan added.
“That’s the path they chose to take. We have to get on with it.
“If I’m being quite honest, it’s helped me get games.
“But that doesn’t mean I’m secure in the squad, it means I’ve got to play the best I can to help the team.”
The back four which started United’s last National League North match at Telford was man-for-man different to the defence which kicked off the campaign at Southport.
But those sweeping changes have paired McGowan with the experienced Shane Killock, currently on loan from Bradford Park Avenue.
“It’s always nice to have someone at the side of you who will talk you through things,” McGowan added.
“He’s settled in really well and he’s even, just from being here such a short time, helped me out.
“It’s good to have a solid person alongside you, offering you advice.
“It’s nice to listen to experience, boys who have played a lot of games at this level or higher.
“All young lads have to take advice from players who have been there and done that.
“Even if it’s a kick up the backside, you have to take it because they’ve got the experience.”