Former England, Watford and Hartlepool United goalkeeper Scott Loach determined to win trophy at Chesterfield
When Scott Loach finally reflects on his career there will be a lot to be proud about.
Hundreds of appearances, capped for his country at under-21 level and call-ups for the full England squad.
But as it stands there would still be something missing - a winners’ medal.
The 33-year-old goalkeeper, who has joined Chesterfield on a one-year deal, has not signed because it is a convenient move for him. He wants a trophy.
Earlier this week he spoke with manager James Rowe and they both expressed how much they are desperate to succeed.
Recalling to the Derbyshire Times how that conversation went, Loach explained: “I said I have played nearly 500 games and played for my country but I have never won anything so I would trade half of them to lift a trophy.
“I have got kids and you want to see them put your medal on or you want that picture in the dining room where you are holding a trophy. It is something that I really want in my career.”
Dad-of-three Loach joked that he did not know much about Rowe until the Spireites ‘slapped’ Barnet, who he was playing for last season, for six in one of his first games as manager.
During their meeting Rowe impressed Loach with his straight-talking approach.
“He was just straight to the point and said ‘I want you, show me how hungry you are, prove me right, prove yourself right and let’s go and win the league’.
“That really impressed me because he knows what he wants. He didn’t try to sugarcoat it.”
Loach, who has won Player of the Year awards at Hartlepool and Barnet, describes himself as a ‘solid’ goalkeeper who is not ‘flash’.
“I know when to play and when not to play. I think I am reliable. I don’t get involved in stuff I don’t need to. I always think if you are winning 3-0 and you have had nothing to do, you don’t have to impress to get involved in the game because it is not about you.”
When it comes to the number one spot, Loach is determined to come out on top.
“He (Rowe) just said that the number one shirt is available and I told him that is what I want and that I will do everything to make sure it is mine.
“There are a lot of good goalkeepers in this league but if you want the full package of experience and stuff like that then I tick that box.
“That is not being big-headed, I have played over 400 games, I have not come here to take it lightly and just because it is on my doorstep.
“I have signed a year’s contract and by Christmas I want to be signing a new one and be here for a long time.”
The former Watford goalkeeper revealed that Chesterfield showed interest in him last year when John Pemberton was manager and again this season in the run-up to the play-offs when he had been furloughed by Barnet but they couldn’t get the deal done.
But he is a Spireite now, much to the delight of himself and the Town fans in his family, who he says have been waiting years for him to join.
“I am over the moon for many reasons.
“I am Nottingham lad and I have three kids so it is nice to be more local.
“I have got some family members who are Chesterfield season ticket holders as well so it is definitely something that I have wanted for the last couple of years.
“One of my family members tweeted that they had been waiting seven years!
“When the chance came around this summer I was champing at the bit to get it done.
"The size of the club appealed to me.
“Since playing them at Christmas and being on the wrong end of a thrashing I have kept my eye on them all year due to my interest in wanting to come here so I know the form they have been on and I feel like I am joining at the right time.
“Chesterfield is one of those teams that once you get promoted it could definitely go up again. It is just about getting out of this tough league.”
Loach is good friends with Haydn Hollis from their time at Notts County together and believes the squad is full of quality players.
He laughed: “It will be nice to play in the same team as Danny Rowe instead of getting one smashed at me! Every time I have played against him I have said ‘just stay away from me today’.
“And Akwasi Asante, I am probably still in his pocket somewhere from the hat-trick he scored against me earlier on in the season.”
It was a difficult time being furloughed at Barnet last season and Loach said he was ‘jealous’ of other players being involved on matchdays.
However, lockdown did allow him to spend some time with his three children and get stuck into some coaching which is what he wants to do after finishing playing.
He runs his own goalkeeping school on a Wednesday night and he wants to inspire the next crop of youngsters.
“I have been fortunate enough to work with some really good goalkeepers when I was younger like Ben Foster, Joe Hart and Rob Green and not one of them was nasty or horrible, they were all good with me,” he added.
“I want to repay that to the next generation. I have got a nephew who is only seven and he is playing for the under nines at Nottingham Forest and he’s been coming to my school and I’ve got a couple who have gone into academies so it is definitely rewarding. It is the next best feeling to playing, that is for sure.”