Bland, who originally signed for the club in 2013, is set to make his 300th appearance in a Whitby shirt on Saturday afternoon, 3pm kick-off, when his side entertaining struggling Mickleover in the NPL Premier Division, writes Paul Connolly.
And the Seasiders’ gloveman, in his second spell at the Towbar Express Stadium at the Turnbull Ground, believes he can reach the likes of Pitman on 484 appearances.
“The likes of Paul Pitman are people to aim for,” he told the Whitby Gazette.
“I’m still only 27 and still have years left in me if I keep myself injury free.
“I look at where the club legends are and I could potentially reach that in the next three to four years.
“The likes of David McTiernan are up there.
“I know Macca, he’s in my sights and someone I’d like to overtake.
“To get myself in and around these legends of the club, and some of the best players the club has seen, is a real achievement in itself and one I’m very proud of.
“I want to break records with this club.
“I never envisaged when I came to the club as a 19-year old that I’d get to these numbers. At that age you’re still looking at getting back into full-time football.
“But as I’ve gone along my career, I’ve found that I want to play my football where I feel at home. I feel that at Whitby, and experience has taught me why move from somewhere I’m settled?”
Bland was due to make his 300th appearance last weekend when the Seasiders travelled to FC United of Manchester, though the game was called off only 90 minutes before kick-off due to the conditions at Broadhurst Park.
He admitted, however, that despite the disappointment of the late postponement, he was looking forward to being able to celebrate the milestone in front of a home crowd.
“It’s been delayed slightly,” the Whitby gloveman added.
“With the Nantwich game being off, it pushed it back from it being against York City in the North Riding FA Senior Cup on the Tuesday.
“Then Saturday being off pushed it back again.
“Hopefully Mickleover will be third time lucky.
“It’ll be good to celebrate it at the Turnbull, in front of my family, the fans, and with my teammates.
“I’ve grown close to the fans here, and the fans are very close to me too, so it’ll be a special moment to share with everyone around the club.”