Jack Barton is hoping the lure of first team football was worth sacrificing a Wembley appearance in the FA Trophy final for.
Barton joined the Beavers on loan last month from Gosport Borough, whose big day out under the arches ended in a 4-0 defeat to Cambridge United on Sunday.
The former Swindon and Aldershot youngster had featured in every squad during their Trophy campaign, but was more than happy to pass up a stroll on the hallowed turf for the chance of a run in the Beavers’ first team.
“I was in the FA Trophy squad for every game up until I left, so I’d have probably got in the squad for the final, but it wasn’t really on my mind when I chose to come here,” said the 19-year-old.
“I’m the type of person that if they’d won it without me playing, I wouldn’t have really felt like I’d earned it and wouldn’t have felt like part of it, although it would’ve been awesome to go out there at Wembley.
“It would have been great, but I hadn’t essentially played my part. I like to feel like I’ve earned something, and I don’t think you can unless you’ve played a bigger part.
"I’m the type of guy that just wants to play football as much as possible. We’ll see if it was worth the sacrifice, but as long as I’m playing football, I’m happy.”
Barton is yet to even nail down a regular starting slot at Hampton, and by his own admission is lacking some match fitness.
But he is confident that once he regains some sharpness, he can break into the team and perhaps secure a permanent move.
He added: “I’m confident in my own ability, so I’m confident I can earn my place in the team here. I think I’ve done well when I’ve played.
“It’s been hard to get started here after being out of the team at Gosport for a month, and I’m going to be chasing it with fitness and form, but I don’t think it’s going to be a problem.
“I like it here, and if it all goes well then I can’t see why I wouldn’t stay, but you never know what’s going to happen. I like to just enjoy my football, and see where that takes me.”
Barton was an unused sub as Hampton went down 1-0 to Billericay on Saturday, and once more as the Beavers returned to winning ways with a win by the same score over East Thurrock United on Tuesday night, thanks to Joe Turner's second half winner.
Hampton, who are 17 in the Ryman Premier, visit Grays Athletic tomorrow before hosting Enfield Town on Tuesday night.