Byfield issues contract plea
Darren Byfield has asked Walsall to open contract talks to keep him at the club beyond the end of the season
Last Updated: 07/12/09 5:27pm
Walsall striker Darren Byfield has told the club has wants to finish his career at the Banks's Stadium.
Byfield is enjoying his second spell with the club he first played for nearly 10 years ago and celebrated his 100th career goal with a consolation in the 3-1 defeat to Southampton.
The 33-year-old was plying his trade at Oldham until he was released by the Latics and has since scored seven times upon a return to his native West Midlands.
His current deal expires in January and while no discussions have taken place over a contract extension, the striker has pleaded with the club to let him stay.
"I'm happy to be at home and want to stay, fingers crossed I can get a contract," Byfield told the Express & Star.
"The gaffer has said he wants me to stay at least until the end of the season so hopefully we'll sit down soon and I can extend it to maybe the end of next season."
Byfield's goalscoring form has helped the Saddlers push into play-off contention after a solid start to the season under manager Chris Hutchings.
He and fellow striker Steve Jones have bagged 15 goals between them, and despite offers coming in from elsewhere, the experienced front man wants to play out the rest of his career in the Black Country.
The former Jamaican international is desperate to stay under Hutchings' wing and even admitted he would like to coach at the club after he retires.
"When you're scoring goals other teams are sniffing around but I'm back in the Midlands and I want to stay here," said Byfield.
"I'd like to do everything here. A few of us are doing our coaching badges so I'd love to press on and coach here.
"Even now, listening to Martin O'Connor and the gaffer, it's not listening just for myself, it's picking up coaching tips."
Walsall face a crucial run of fixtures first though, taking on play-off rivals Millwall, Bristol Rovers, Norwich and Charlton over the festive period.
And the striker said he felt ready to launch his side's promotion charge, adding: "I've still got years in me, I feel sharp and quick and I'm still doing it on the pitch."