ON-LOAN goalkeeper Nick Pope has not ruled out returning for another season at Bury after playing a key role in their promotion from League Two.

The 22-year-old Charlton stopper, who has another three years to run on his contract at the Valley, says his future remains unclear at this stage.

But the Soham-born keeper admits he would be prepared to step down to League One with Bury if it turns out he is surplus to requirements at the Championship club.

“If that decision comes about it is one that will have to be made,” he said.

“The season has just ended, nothing has been settled. I have not heard from Charlton much, to be honest. That will take care of itself.

“As a footballer you want to push yourself at the highest level you can go and obviously win things at the highest level you can get to.

“That’s my aspiration, to keep playing at the highest level I can and doing the best job I can.”

Pope kept 13 clean sheets in 22 appearances since arriving at Bury in January.

And after finishing last season on loan at York with a similar record, he says it was nice to clinch promotion this time round following heartbreak in the 2013/14 play-off semi-finals.

“I got close last year. We didn’t get to Wembley, but it felt 1-0 over two legs was close,” he said, reflecting on York’s play-off defeat to Fleetwood.

“To get over the line on the last day in those circumstances, as a feeling you want to bottle it but obviously you will have those memories forever now.”