Life is pretty sweet for Merewether-based Lewis Italiano at the moment.
The 28-year-old's wife is expecting their first child in June and he has just re-signed with the Newcastle Jets for next season.
But the current back-up goalkeeper to Jets main shot stopper Glen Moss still remains determined to, one day, secure a regular No.1 spot between the sticks on an A-League roster after notching up five appearances so far in 2018-19.
"I had a goal when I came here [to Newcastle] to come here and play and obviously to push Mossy as well," Italiano said after Jets training at Ray Watt Oval on Thursday.
"So if I bring that in next year and obviously try to get more than a handful of games.
"Yeah of course [No.1 spot is a goal], but I go day by day here as well. You put the effort in training and it shows itself in games.
"For the future I've got a family as well, I've got a newborn on the way, so for security of next year I move on to see if I can develop again."
Italiano, who first signed with the Jets in September, made three starts in the space of 11 days for Newcastle in January.
It came after he replaced an injured Moss for the second-half of a 2-1 loss to Adelaide on December 30 and before 90 minutes in a 3-1 win against Melbourne City on February 15.
Italiano, who played in 19 A-League games for Perth and Wellington arriving in Newcastle, has conceded eight goals during this campaign.
"It's very important [to play games], especially for development," he said.
"The more you play the better you get. You can only train for a certain amount before you need to step up to the next level and start playing some games."
There are no A-League matches this weekend as part of a FIFA international window and the Jets will resume training on Monday ahead of what Italiano describes as a "must-win" match against his old club at Wellington's Westpac Stadium on Saturday, March 30.
Last year's grand finalists Newcastle (26 points) are seventh on the competition ladder, five adrift of the top six and eight below fourth-placed Wellington (34) with five rounds remaining in the regular season.
Italiano says the belief "never dies" and the Jets will "give everything until the dying moments".
"There's still a positive mood and there's still 15 points to play for," he said.
"We're not out of it yet."
Italiano said it would be important for the Jets to quickly put behind them Saturday's upset 3-2 loss to last-placed rivals Central Coast.
"What's in the past is in the past," he said. "You can't dwell on it so we just look forward and we have to win. It's a must-win stint really."
Post the Phoenix, the Jets face Western Sydney Wanderers, Perth Glory, Brisbane Roar and Sydney FC on the run home.
Meanwhile, a handful of Newcastle's youth team members trained with the senior squad on Thursday including Joseph O'Connor.