Dan Smith intends to put on a spectacular farewell performance for Eastbourne Borough tomorrow to repay the club for the faith it has shown in him.

Smith admits it will be a sad moment when he returns to Plymouth Argyle after the trip to Kidderminster Harriers following a three-month spell at Priory Lane.

FA rules mean Borough are unable to keep the 19-year-old until the end of the season after extending his loan spell twice already.

Smith was denied the chance to say goodbye to Borough fans in person when Tuesday night’s home clash with Ebbsfleet was postponed but is determined to show his appreciation for their support by inspiring Borough to victory at Aggborough.

He said: “It was a shame the game was off on Tuesday but I will probably send everyone at the club a card to say thank you for being so good to me.

“I went on loan to Morecambe earlier in the season and the people at Eastbourne have looked after me miles better.

“I had to pay everything myself when I was at Morecambe. I had to stay with a friend before games and pay for all my petrol myself and I didn’t feel wanted at all.

“It’s been completely different at Eastbourne as they couldn’t have treated me any better. They have tried to make me feel welcome and the fact they have put themselves out for me has definitely had an affect on my performances.

“When you know someone wants you and is willing to go out of their way to show it, you tend to work harder to repay them.

“It would be nice to finish by playing well and maybe scoring a goal. I’ve perhaps not scored as many as I would have liked but I see myself more as a creative player than a clinical finisher and I’ve set up a lot of chances.”

Borough had won only two of their 12 league games and were slipping perilously towards the relegation zone when Smith arrived together with Ashley Barnes in November.

He has helped them win seven of their 12 league matches since to virtually assure their Blue Square premier survival.

The 19-year-old is out of contract at Home Park in the summer but hopes the progress he has made over the last three months will convince Pilgrims boss Paul Sturrock to offer him a new deal.

Smith added: “In some ways it is a shame I can’t stay for longer but I want to see whether I can get in the side at Plymouth.

“I have been doing well in training so maybe there is a chance and I think coming here has certainly improved my prospects.

“The coaches at Plymouth say they can see a big difference between me now than when I first came to Eastbourne. I’ve got a lot of confidence from playing games on a regular basis and you just can’t get that from training.

“Whatever happens, my time at Eastbourne has been a success and I would seriously consider joining Borough if things do not work out at Plymouth apart from the fact they are a part-time club.

“At my age I need to be at a full-time club otherwise it could stunt my development but I wouldn’t have any hesitation in coming back if things changed.”

Assistant manager Nick Greenwood has praised Smith’s contribution over the last three months and has not ruled out a bid to bring the striker back to Priory Lane in the future.

Greenwood said: “Dan has done a terrific job for us. He is a smashing lad and has fitted in really well so we will be monitoring his situation at Plymouth over the next few months.

“We will begin our planning for next season in the next few weeks and people like Dan may come into our thinking depending on what route we take.”