WITH over 1,000 appearances to his name in a long football career, Rob Cousins is hoping to pass on his experience to his new team-mates at Yate.

The 39-year-old midfielder joined as player/coach from Paulton Rovers in the summer and made his debut in the 0-0 draw at home to Frome last Saturday.

Cousins made several appearances for the England C team while playing in the top tier of non-league football at Yeovil Town and Forest Green Rovers and hopes the younger players in the Yate squad will look up to him as a role model.

"Hopefully I can give a bit of guidance because it’s still a very young side," he said.

"If I can pass on my experience, my know-how and what I’ve picked up during my playing career, hopefully that will have an effect.

"Hopefully the lads can give me a bit a bit of respect and have seen what I can do in pre-season friendlies and how hard I work in training.

"Everyone here has made me feel welcome which has made it easier to settle in."

Cousins made his 1,000th senior appearance last season while at Paulton, but was only offered a coaching role there this season and is keen to continue his playing career for as long as possible.

He said: "I’ve still got the desire and hunger and feel I can play at a certain level.

"I had the opportunity here to play and help out with coaching and I’m more than happy to do it.

"I just enjoy every game. It’s my 22nd season at this level, I just enjoy playing football and the dressing room banter, the training and at the moment I’ve still got hunger to keep playing and I hate losing or not playing.

"My legs are still going so long may it continue."

Cousins admitted he was disappointed with his own performance against Frome, but was happy with the point after Yate defender Tom Warren was sent off and he believes the side should be aiming at a top ten finish.

He said: "Some days you don’t have the best days as a team, but it’s about digging in and taking what you get so you work hard and be difficult to beat.

"It was important that we didn’t start with a defeat, especially at home."

"I think with the players we’ve got on our day we’ll give anyone a run for their money.

"We’ve got to be realistic and look for a top ten finish and anything above that is progression."

Yate manager Dave Mogg said: "He looked tired at times but he’s 39 and playing on arguably the biggest pitch around. He’ll get better and his experience will be invaluable to us."

"Even with the sending off, I stuck Edd (Vahid) in the back four, he saw it different and I’m quite happy to trust him with his decision-making on the park."