Tiverton Town skipper Paul Kendall has vowed not to miss any more games through suspension for the rest of the season.
Kendall was forced to watch the Yellows labour to a 1-1 Evo-Stik League Southern draw at home to Bishop's Cleeve last Saturday as he completed a two-match suspension.
Mark Saunders' men could have done with Kendall's defensive qualities at Ladysmead, as they relinquished the lead just three minutes after going ahead through substitute Jules Emati-Emati.
The former Bideford and Plymouth Argyle player – who joined Tiverton in the summer of 2011 and has gone on to form a fine understanding with fellow centre-back Tom Gardner – insisted he has learnt his lesson after a frustrating stint on the sidelines.
"I was gutted to miss the game," Kendall said of last Saturday's draw. "That is the last game I want to miss between now and the end of the season because of being suspended.
"It was just one of those things. I'm back now for next Saturday and I just want to get playing.
"I just need to get back to running the games. I've missed more than a month now because of the weather. It has been at least four weeks off football, so I can't wait to get back.
"I like being captain – I like shouting and getting on the referee's back a bit – but I need to stop that now because it is just going to cost me. That's two games now so I just have to get back on it.
"I'm praying Yate goes ahead [on Saturday] because, if it doesn't, then that's another week missing and I just want to get playing."
Kendall's superb form since joining Tiverton has been a crucial factor in the Devon club's push for a Division One South and West play-offs place. But that seemed a long way away for the former Argyle apprentice after he suffered a broken leg playing for Bideford back in 2010 – ironically, against Tiverton.
But, after taking some time to recover match-fitness, he has gone from strength to strength in the Yellows' back-line, becoming a lynchpin in a mean defence.
Kendall thanked Saunders for sticking by him as he regained form and fitness.
"I'm feeling really good and am the fittest I have been for a while," he said. "I've got a lot better and the manager has stuck by me from the start and I just feel I am getting to my potential and where I should be at.
"When I came back from my broken leg, I was 15 stone and that's big. I then got it down to 14 and now I'm feeling even fitter – probably the fittest I have been in a few years."