Paul Bastock insists he is looking forward to what he says will be his final season as a player more than any other before it.
The 47-year-old goalkeeper is set to be between the sticks for Corby Town when they take on Romulus in their first Evo-Stik League South game of the season at Steel Park on Saturday.
Bastock’s incredible career has seen him play in over 1,000 matches in professional and semi-professional games.
He is set to add to that after joining David Bell’s Steelmen this summer and he admits it is another season he didn’t think he would get.
“I am looking forward to it more than when I was 16, I think you learn to appreciate football the older you get,” the evergreen goalkeeper said.
“You appreciate the opportunity and I am grateful that by body and ability are still good enough to get a chance like this.
“I had resigned myself to retiring after I got the shoulder injury at Stamford but the shoulder came back overnight and I just though ‘right, one more season’.
“I have always kept myself in shape and I just try to look after myself and eat the right things.
“I have just been blessed and I am so grateful that my body will still allow me to dive and jump around.”
While Bastock’s fairytale continues, he believes the fact it is doing so does raise some other concerns over a lack of young goalkeepers coming through the ranks.
And he is hoping that the coaching the likes of he, at his own goalkeeping school, will soon see young stoppers stepping up to the semi-professional and professional games.
“I was talking to Mark Crossley after the legends game and I said to him that I was surprised that I was still having clubs coming to me,” Bastock added.
“He wasn’t surprised because there aren’t as many young goalkeepers coming through.
“Unfortunately, he is right about that. It’s good from my point of view because it means I can keep playing.
“But we need to make sure that all this coaching we are giving out starts to produce young goalkeepers who can move through the ranks and into senior football.”
Don’t miss a full preview of Corby Town’s opening game of the the season in Thursday’s Corby Telegraph