Veteran Mark Bridge admits the lure of winning and mateship are key reasons why he has come out of retirement for Corrimal.
Bridge - who played more than 250 A-League games and represented the Socceroos during an illustrious career - will strap on the boots again and is set to be an attacking force for the reigning Illawarra Premier League champions in 2020.
The 34-year-old last played competitively for Mounties Wanderers 10 months ago, but told the Mercury that he couldn't wait to play again.
"I didn't think I'd miss the game that much. You miss the change room, you miss the banter. You miss the competitiveness and the thrills of the win," he said.
"As much as you don't like it at the time, you miss the disappointment of the losses and where you can improve too. I'm looking forward to getting back into it.
"Ever since I was a kid, I've loved getting out on the field and playing. If you don't want to win and don't want to get better, there's something wrong. That goes in football and life as well."
Bridge decided to return to the game after being approached to represent former Socceroo Jade North's Indigenous Australia side at the CONIFA World Football Cup in Macedonia this May.
The striker said he remained fit in the past year, "keeping in good nick", but needed to start playing and training consistently again.
Bridge, who lives and works in Macarthur, sought out a few options before he called an old teammate of his - Corrimal veteran Alvin Ceccoli. The pair played together for National Soccer League team, Parramatta Power.
"I thought I'd play in the local Illawarra league - it's a high standard league with some quality players. I played down at Cringila when I was 16 or 17, and I have great memories of it," Bridge said.
"I reached out to a few people and Alvin Ceccoli was one of those people. Alvin was my captain at Parramatta Power many moons ago. I just said to him, 'what do you think about the league? Which teams are good? I just want to get my fitness up, play some footy and hopefully win something this year'.
"Alvin had unbelievable things to say about the club and the coach [Rob Jonovski], it was a no-brainer."
Bridge will headline a potent Rangers attack alongside last year's IPL leading goalscorer Van Elia and former Tarrawanna captain Ricky Goodchild.
Bridge said his greatest asset would be experience, adding "it's definitely not my speed any more", but he didn't think it would take long for them to gel together.
"I don't think it will be hard to gel together, that's the easy part. Hopefully I can pass on some knowledge or tips to help him [Elia] get even better," Bridge said.
"Part of me coming down is to help the young fellas with some advice and even some of the older ones who still want to learn. Hopefully it will be a cracker of a year."
Bridge's A-League journey began in 2005 at Newcastle in their inaugural season.
He played three seasons at the Jets and went on to play 80 games for Sydney FC and 121 matches for the Western Sydney Wanderers.
He retired in 2018/19, leaving with no regrets.
"I was one of the lucky ones who won the A-League a couple of times, won the Asian Champions League, went to the Olympics and played for the Socceroos," Bridge said.
"I got to do a fair bit and I enjoyed my time."
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