Former Socceroo Craig Foster is coming out of retirement to pull on his boots one more time and play for community league side Albion Park City in the FFA Cup next week.
The 49-year-old SBS football analyst – fresh from his successful campaign to free Hakeem Al-Araibi – will have his first and perhaps only taste of FFA Cup action next Wednesday night.
City won promotion last season from the ninth tier to play in the Illawarra Community League and will face Illawarra Premier League side Coniston at JJ Kelly Park, two hours south of Sydney.
After a frantic 12 months for Fozz – who was also the face of the unsuccessful South Sydney A-League bid as well as campaigning to be elected the new FFA chairman, while also studying for a law degree – the game will be a welcome return to his roots.
Despite the hectic schedule, Foster was keen to make himself available when colleague and City's organiser-in-chief Adrian Arciuli asked if he would be interested in playing.
"For those who love the game, we are always capable of squeezing in time to play football," Foster said.
"The chance to pull on the boots and play again is always worthwhile as it keeps us going as ex-players - it's like putting fuel in the tank."
The former Crystal Palace midfielder is relishing the chance to play in the nationwide knockout competition and reacquaint himself with Illawarra football, if only for a short period.
"We are all supporters of the FFA Cup," Foster said. "This night in the Illawarra is a great demonstration of how it connects all levels of the games.
"I would have played against Wollongong [Wolves] a long time ago for various teams including Adelaide City and Marconi.
"Prior to that, I recall playing a game down there for Sydney Croatia when I was only 17 in what I think was a preseason game.
"Albion Park is a team that is trying to punch above its weight, they are seeking a little bit of experience if not athleticism and it's a great chance for me to come and say hi in a great part of the country with a strong football heritage and meet the football community there."