Cobblers striker Sam Hoskins is already looking forward to pushing on and taking the next step up after a dream first season at Sixfields.
The livewire forward has struggled to retain a regular place in the starting XI but that hasn’t stopped him from impressing throughout the campaign.
Whilst most of his 37 appearances have come from the bench, Hoskins has netted eight times this season – the fourth leading scorer at the club – including bagging the crucial goal in Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Bristol Rovers which ultimately sealed Cobblers’ promotion to Sky Bet League One.
Hoskins has yet to find a settled home in his short playing career, which started at Southampton, but having recently signed a new long-term deal at Sixfields, he’s hopeful of a prolonged stay at Northampton.
The 23-year-old said: “It’s nice for me to nail down a new contract and I’ve had a good chance this season so hopefully next season I can push on, get more games and get more goals.
“There’s not much more you can really ask for from your first season – we’ve got promotion and the title is in our own hands so it’s been a great first season.
“It’s great for everyone and for me personally because it’s my first promotion and that’s always going to be a special one.
“To get the goal which helped see us over the line makes it extra special as well.”
A stop-start season, such as the one Hoskins has experienced, can often lead to disgruntlement among those players who are regularly missing out on selection, but that’s not been the case at Northampton this season, typified by Hoskins who has bought into the squad ethic more than anyone.
And though he admits it’s frustrating not to have started more games, the young striker is grateful for his opportunity to play a part in a promotion-winning side.
“You want to nail down a starting position, every player does, but you can only play 11 players so there’s always going to be some who miss out,” he added.
“I’ve had to be patient, come off the bench and bide my time and look to do well when I’ve come on.
“I knew I would have to be patient to a certain extent but it was nice to get another start on Saturday.
“This season, for me personally, I’ve played more games than I have ever and I’m on cloud nine at the moment.”
Looking back on the season as a whole, Hoskins continued: “There’s been ups and downs but mainly ups which is the main thing.
“We’ve got a really good, strong squad and we’e obviously shown that throughout the season.
“We work for each other and we all know our jobs and we’ve got a real tight-knit group of lads what are willing to work hard for each other.
“That’s a major factor I think, plus we have the quality you need as well and now we’ve got to push on and win the league.”