Mark Arber insists the opportunity to be more involved in the coaching side of things was the deciding factor when he chose to join Corby Town.
Steelmen boss Chris Plummer pulled off something of a coup when the 35-year-old centre-half agreed to come to Steel Park in a player-coach role for the Calor League Premier Division campaign, which gets under way at home to Burnham on August 17.
And the former Peterborough United, Barnet and Dagenham & Redbridge man revealed he had offers from other clubs in the area before he eventually decided to join Corby after playing for Dartford in the Conference last season.
Arber said: “Every year I ask myself the same question - ‘is it time to retire?’
“It comes down to whether people really want you and what they want you to do.
“When I came out of the professional game last year I had a clamour of clubs coming after me on a part-time basis and I chose Dartford because of the set-up, they had just got promoted and it was five minutes from my parents’ house.
“This year has been a different kettle of fish. I have just come off my A Licence, I want to be coaching more and it is a natural progression.
“I am still playing, how many I play I don’t know but I always try to play as many as I can.
“I had three offers similar to the one here from clubs in and around this area and when I spoke to all three, it mainly came down to who would give me more opportunity to coach.
“The other clubs wanted me more as a player with coaching being secondary. Here, I have joined in with coaching in pre-season and this is what I want to do going forward.
“This is about me giving something back after having a good career and helping players like Paul Malone when I am alongside him.
“I want to pass on a bit of knowledge. It’s what I like to do. And if I can do that on the pitch then even better.”
It has been a mixed start for the Steelmen in pre-season as a 4-0 home reverse to Cambridge United was followed by a 0-0 draw at Daventry Town before an encouraging display against Northampton Town ended with the Cobblers scoring two late goals to lift the Maunsell Cup with a 3-1 success on Wednesday night.
Corby are back in friendly action against a Leicester City XI at Steel Park tomorrow (Saturday) and Arber believes the performances are going in the right direction.
“It’s been good. I think we have shown improvement in every game we have played and that’s what we are looking for,” he added.
“It is pre-season and we have to remember that. Results aren’t paramount at this stage. It is about getting as much fitness into the lads as possible.
“It’s difficult because lads are always juggling their jobs with football at this level and we have to make the best use of the time we have.
“If we are showing signs of improvement then that it is a good thing. I said to the lads after Wednesday’s game that you can’t peak too soon. The season starts in two or three weeks and that’s when we have to be ready to go.”