"If I don't play, I'll have a big void during my week. What will I do with my time?"
The looming retirement on the horizon is something that all sportspeople must inevitably face. Father time catching up or a dip in passion are two reasons why many hang up the boots.
And then there is the curious case of Alvin Ceccoli.
Ceccoli knows he is no spring chicken at the age of 45. However, he still considers himself match fit and is desperate to go around again for Corrimal in this year's Illawarra Premier League.
So what's holding him back? A calcarine bursitis on his heel, something Ceccoli describes as a "stupid issue".
"I managed to play through with it last year because I was fit during the season. But now, having my off season, and trying to get fit running on it, I'm not sure I'm going to be able to do it. I'm in too much pain," Ceccoli said.
"I'm actually really pissed off about it because I'm physically fit. I don't have a lingering injury, I just have this stupid issue that's probably going to kill what enjoyment I had left in football. I'm just crossing my fingers on it at the moment that it may come good. I've already had cortisone injections in it, it's not really working. I'm still able to go training with the guys. But any sort of running? I can't do it.
"If I don't play, I'll have a big void during my week. What will I do with my time? Football is what I've always know and a big part of that is obviously the change room environment - that's a big thing that I would probably miss. Do I go into coaching? I don't know. We'll see what happens. It's still a few months until the season starts and I'll weigh it all up."
Football is what I've always known.Alvin Ceccoli
If it is the end, Ceccoli can proudly look back on his decorated playing career which began back in the mid-1990s with the Wollongong Wolves.
His journey, which has spanned more than two decades, includes representing three A-League clubs - Sydney FC, Central Coast Mariners and Adelaide United - while he represented the Socceroos on six occasions.
Ceccoli linked up with Corrimal last year. He had previously worked with coach Rob Jonovski and he was warmly embraced at the Rangers. Ceccoli was aiming to overcome an Achilles tendon injury at the time and, in his words, "prove the haters wrong".
The partnership proved fruitful as Corrimal won the IPL title, clinching their first silverware in 46 years.
"Obviously I'm a bit long in the tooth and I'd had my day in football," Ceccoli said.
"I knew Rob and the view was to help the club - they're a young team. I think it was 40 odd years since they'd won anything so it was all about that. It was about getting the team to the finals potentially, or very close to it. And that's what we did."
Ceccoli knows there will be more pressure on Corrimal in 2020. Whether he plays or not, his experience around the club will be vital.
"We're not going to be the underdog anymore," he said.
"We're going to be the hunted. There's a bigger pressure now and the players will have to rise to that. For me, it's about helping to guide them in those kind of situations."
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