ACCRINGTON Stanley goalkeeper Paul Rachubka wants to extend his stay at the Crown Ground after making his debut in a rip-roaring 3-3 FA Cup draw with Oxford on Saturday.
The 31-year-old only met his new team-mates two hours before kick off but walked off with a man of the match award after a fine debut having signed on a seven day emergency loan from Leeds United.
And the former Manchester United stopper wants to be part of a Stanley side who will face Sheffield United in round three of the FA Cup should they overcome Oxford in the replay next Wednesday night.
“I want to be playing competitive football where the results matter,” said Rachubka who can only extend his loan by a maximum of seven days at a time until the transfer window opens in January.
Stanley were given special permission to bring in the 31-year-old as the injured Ian Dunbavin is their only recognised senior goalkeeper. Andrew Dawber, among the subs on Saturday, has yet to sign a professional contract.
Rachubka added: “The loan is for seven days and we don’t know what is going on at the moment and what paperwork needs sorting out so I am just waiting to find out really. I’m happy to be here.
“I have played a lot of under-21 games and at the age of 31 it doesn’t really work out. We were in the draw for the third round of the Cup and you could get anyone and you are part of it.
“That is what it is about and you don’t get that unless the results matter.
“I am happy to be playing and to be a part of it. The lads seem great and it is just taking it one day at a time.”
Rachubka, who has enjoyed several loan spells during his career, only found out about the move on Friday morning, with the deal rushed through in time for him to play at the weekend.
“I heard about it at 10am on Friday morning and it has to be done by 12noon,” he said. “Everything went through with a few phone calls. By the time I would have got over here I would have missed training so I turned up at the game.
“I knew a couple of the lads. Will Hatfield was at Leeds when I was there and I played with James Beattie at Blackpool. Danny Schofield I know from Huddersfield.
“It’s never like you’re walking into a completely new changing room and they were all positive and welcomed me with open arms.”
And the goalkeeper, who won promotion to the Premier League with Blackpool, revealed that coming straight into a new side, especially as a goalkeeper, was a baptism of fire.
“It’s understanding what your players do and who does what in what situations,” said Rachubka of the problems he faced on debut.
“When teams do well is when the back five play together week-in week-out and we haven’t even trained together.
“It is difficult to understand who does what and who has strengths and weaknesses and where they are. But we will work on that in training and take it from there.”
Stanley boss Leam Richardson, pictured left, was full of praise for his new keeper after his debut.
“I thought he was fantastic,” he said of Rachubka’s display.
“For anybody, whether you are experienced or not, coming in at quarter past one is a difficult one.”