YORK City's deadline day signing Leo Fortune-West is hoping to still be at the club next season.

The 6ft 4ins veteran striker, who will turn 37 in April, has joined the Minstermen on loan from Blue Square Premier rivals Cambridge United until the end of the season.

But Fortune-West is targeting a permanent move to KitKat Crescent this summer.

He said: "It depends on how well I can do but I would like to stay for another year. After I left Doncaster Rovers in the summer, York would have been my ideal choice and I had a phone call from the club but nothing happened. Now, I'm just glad to be here and can't wait for the games to arrive."

The former Doncaster, Cardiff and Rotherham forward will, however, have to wait until at least a week tomorrow before making his debut.

He is cup-tied for the Minstermen's next two fixtures - in the FA Trophy at Farsley Celtic on Sunday and Wednesday night's Setanta Shield home tie with Northwich Victoria.

Fortune-West has also been ruled out of City's away meeting with parent club Cambridge on March 1 and would be ineligible should both teams meet in the play-offs.

Cambridge currently occupy the fifth and final play-off position - nine points ahead of the mid-table Minstermen - but it is a gap Fortune-West believes his new team-mates can bridge.

He said: "I want the team to achieve a very high position at the end of the season. We are nine points off the play-offs but that's only three games. I believe the top five is still a target.

"It didn't bother me that I am leaving Cambridge for York, who are lower in the table, as I can remember when both of them went down from League Two and they are both big clubs with potential."

At 36, Fortune-West could be regarded as a father figure for City's fledgling strikers Richard Brodie and Onome Sodje and he has already expressed a willingness to help nurture their talent, saying: "I will help them on and off the pitch because it's my duty to pass on what I have learned."

He also appreciates the difficulty of breaking into a team that have gone 13 games unbeaten with Sodje, Brodie, Martyn Woolford and Craig Farrell all competing for forward places.

Fortune-West, who cost Cardiff £300,000 in 2000, added: "Nothing's easy in football and you have to earn what you get."

He has scored seven goals in 17 starts this season, including a hat-trick against Farsley which helped him win the Blue Square Premier Player of the Month award for August.

City will be his 11th professional club in a career that has brought 119 goals in 313 starts, and he still feels he has plenty to offer.

He said: "I think I can be a good target man, weigh in with my fair share of goals and bring more steel to the team."

Fortune-West's renowned combative streak should also benefit City. The club were on the receiving end of it when alleged goading provoked Stuart Elliott into aiming a punch at the striker during Cambridge's 2-1 away win on the opening day of the season.

Elliott was sent off and Fortune-West has only just returned from a four-match ban himself. About his tangle with Elliott, Fortune-West added: "That day Stuart was an opponent and I was his opponent. Now things have changed and I can easily be as obstructive to other teams."