JOEY Schirripa spent two seasons sidelined with a knee reconstruction. Spent one winter kicking a Sherrin around with the Griffith Swans, too.
But the former Sydney Olympic and Newcastle Jets star showed his 36-year-old legs still have some quality left in them after his two brilliant strikes propelled Hanwood to a 2-1 Pascoe Cup grand final win over Lake Albert on Sunday night.
Schirripa's first goal was pure class, a long range belter to level scores late in the first half after the Sharks had earlier taken the lead with from the penalty spot.
His second deep in extra time was less spectacular but just as composed, clinching Hanwood the premiership in their return to the Wagga competition after a long absence.
The first goal came just after Shark Kane Baumer, who nailed the first penalty, sent his second attempt well over the crossbar ten minutes before half-time.
"It's been a long time between drinks. I had a knee reconstruction back in 2017 and took the last couple of years off," he said.
"It (first goal I scored) is up there because at the end of the day the game was in the balance and we needed something to stick pretty quickly.
"I was fortunate I found half a yard, I put my foot through it and got a hold of it."
He's being modest. The strike wouldn't have looked out of place on any pitch, let alone at Wagga's Equex Centre.
Schirripa ran to the jubilant Hanwood fans after the match and celebrated like he deserved.
On a night where several players from both teams were guilty of fluffing their lines in front of goal, Schirripa showed why he boasts 55 A-League caps to his name.
He said the return to the Pascoe Cup was sorely needed by the Hanwood club, whose players were struggling to get themselves up to play in a Griffith league wounded by withdrawals.
"We started getting stale," Schirripa said.
"Week-in week-out on a Tuesday and Thursday (at training) we were trying to motivate the lads going into a comp which was getting depleted every year, and dropping teams.
"When we got the call there was an opening (in Pascoe Cup) we were over the moon, it was a new lease of life for our lads."
"We're over the moon with what the Wagga association has done for us. They've given us the freedom to be a sports club."
Hanwood has already built a rivalry with Lake Albert built on healthy respect, and Schirripa expects them to do battle for silverware for a while yet.
"It's us and them now, us and Lake Albert," he said.
"I know which team I want to get by the throat and it's them now."