Carlisle's Paul Thirlwell is determined to fight for his place in midfield next season amid speculation he could move into a coaching role.
The 33-year-old skipper insists his only priority is to compete with Greg Abbott's younger midfielders for a spot in the starting XI.
Thirlwell is under contract for another season at Brunton Park but his role as Abbott's dressing-room lieutenant has led to rumours he could retire from playing to take up coaching.
But the ex-Sunderland man told the News & Star: "My focus will be on playing. Coaching is something I want to do but you are a long time retired.
"I've got a year left and I just want to concentrate on playing games. I see it as quite challenging.
"I'm looking forward to giving the young lads a run for their money. I wish pre-season was tomorrow, to be honest."