This was meant to be the year Wade Liddell hung up the footy boots for good.
And after making the grand final with Ipswich Brothers last September the first half of 2015 was all going to plan for the 36-year-old.
His weekends and weeknights were footy free - that was until he ventured to watch his junior club Logan Brothers in the Brisbane Rugby League.
“I’ve played for 30 years and never had a year off, this was going to be the first,” Liddell said.
“But I always told the boys that I’d come back for one final year. The worse thing was to come back and watch a game… I got itchy feet and Jase (Logan Brothers coach Jason Gainey) has been chasing me for years and I just couldn’t say no.
“I love the camaraderie… I wasn’t going to play anywhere else.”
Liddell made a return for Logan Brothers against Carina last week, coming up against former Easts Tigers club mates Kev Stephensen and Isaac Kaufmann.
He started at hooker, playing two stints of twenty minutes.
“There was a lot of fun banter but we play the game to have fun. I hit Kevvie a bit high and got up and said sorry, it was all in good spirit.
“I was a bit rusty though.”
It was a fitting return to the paddock for one of the club’s most prolific juniors.
Liddell began at Logan Brothers before notching 212 games in the then Queensland Cup with Easts and Souths Logan (eighth on the all-time leaderboard) across a twelve-year career.
He made his Cup debut as an outside back in 2000 before some of his current team mates had even started school.
“We’ve got some 18 year olds in the side, so that makes me double their age which is a bit scary,” he said.
The other unnerving aspect was returning to training after an eight month break.
Now playing in the centre of the park, he relies on full body massages to recover and says it takes him about a week to get over a game.
“I feel naturally fit but we had a running session here and I had to roll out of bed afterwards.”
“The body’s old but the head still loves footy.
“We’ve got a good little side but we just need to play smart… I think we’ve got the units here to win this.
“We just need to quicken up around the ruck.
“But it’s good just to be running around and hopefully I can pass on some tips to the younger guys.”
Logan Brothers host Redcliffe today, with the Dolphins coming off a big 56-4 victory over Normanby.
On Sunday, a West Brisbane side with three-straight under the belt host second-placed Wynnum Manly Redland City.
BRISBANE RUGBY LEAGUE - ROUND 12
Saturday, July 11
Valleys Diehards v Gaters at Emerson Park - 3.00pm
Logan Brothers v Redcliffe Dolphins at Civic Park - 3.00pm
Carina v Ipswich Jets at Leo Williams Oval - 5.00pm
LIVE STREAM: livestream.com/accounts/9436031/events/4171657
Sunday, July 12
Easts Tigers v Normanby Hounds at Tapout Energy Stadium, Langlands Park - 11.45am
West Brisbane Panthers v Wynnum Manly Redland City at Kev McKell Oval - 3.30pm