Rhys Egan had consigned himself to a year on the sidelines - even before the coronavirus pandemic threw the Hampden league into chaos.
The heart-and-soul Portland footballer had ruled a line through his 2020 ambitions as he battled a serious hip injury.
But, thanks to some scooter rides to drop son Judd at school, he is hopeful of donning the black and gold if the Tigers do return to the field this year.
Egan, a special guest on this week's The Main Break podcast, also spoke about the difficult transition Portland had faced since defecting from the Western Border league, his passion for helping - and beating - the club's younger players and his desire to follow in a club legend's footsteps in the latter stages of his career.
Listen to this week's The Main Break podcast with Rhys Egan:
The in-and-under midfielder hurt his hip last season and missed a few games.
A subsequent MRI found "a few issues" and he told new coach Jarrod Holt he was going to have the year off.
"But since then I've got back into a bit of exercise. I might play, I might not (if a season gets under way)," Egan said.
The former captain conceded his initial decision to rest for a season came after six months without exercise. He was in pain.
"It wasn't until my son went back to school and I started riding a scooter with him - bringing back a bit of my youth - and it actually started to really help my hip," Egan said.
"It strengthened it to the point I could walk without pain and then I started running again and got on the bike and was doing a bit of boxing."
Egan is a Tiger through and through.
He has played more than 200 senior games for the club.
"I'd love to play for a couple more seasons. I wouldn't mind getting to that 250 number but if it doesn't happen, it doesn't happen," he said.
"I always sort of thought once I'd finished playing seniors I wouldn't mind playing a couple of seasons in the reserves, maybe coach.
"That is what Jaron Quinlivan did and he was the bloke at the footy club I looked up to the most so I've always thought I'd go back and have a bit of fun and play a couple of seasons in the twos.
"If that comes sooner than I initially thought it would, so be it. But if I can keep playing seniors, I'll keep playing."
Portland is yet to play finals since crossing to the Hampden league in 2013.
Egan said it was the right decision but conceded there had been low points.
"It has been difficult as a player that was used to success and then all of a sudden you're back in the middle of the park and, of late, at the bottom end...that hasn't been easy," he said.
"No one likes losing and I played finals every year of football league in my life until we came to the Hampden league."
Portland, due to its location four hours west of Melbourne, can struggle to maintain players.
"We lost another young kid this year. He was off to try himself in the VFL is great but Harris Jennings is the type of people we need. It's hard to lose them," Egan said.
"When you lose people like that each year it feels like you're stepping back again."
But he believes, with the likes of Aaron Shepherd and Daniel Jackson, Portland can elevate itself.
Egan was co-captain with Jackson, a regular Friday night dinner guest, last season.
"Aaron won our best and fairest a couple of years ago and he's recovered from a knee injury which plagued him all last season," he said.
"He's a brute of a young fella. It's good to see blokes willing to step up.
"Daniel Jackson who was co-captain with me last year, he sets the bar with fitness.
"He's got a real smart head on him. I think his old man was a real old-school footballer and entrenched a lot of good values into the way he plays.
"He played a bit of midfield last year but I think he's pretty keen to get back on that half-back flank and back pocket and really control it from there because he likes to run off."
Egan has been pleased with the next generation's application.
"There's been a lot of people doing their extras now we're not training (because of COVID-19)," he said.
"You see a lot of those blokes who play in our midfield doing those extras.
"Hopefully they can show they've been keeping fit.
"When pre-seasons roll around I don't want them to be faster than me. I've always said that's one of my things - I'd like to be quicker than them so it does make you work a bit harder even though it's finally catching up with me.
"You want to push those young fellas, they can push harder than I can. But if you push them, they get the results."
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