Wagga City Wanderers will be without their captain and goalkeeper Robert Fry this season.
Fry has decided to take a step back this season and is set to play Pascoe Cup instead.
Fry, whose partner is expecting their first child, said it was an 'extremely difficult' decision to step back from the Wanderers after four seasons as captain.
"Super tough," Fry described it as.
"It's been my life the last few years, it's given me so much and I've put so much into it.
"It was extremely difficult and is still tough to be honest with you."
Fry was co-captain, alongside Carl Pideski, in the Wanderers' all-conquering 2020 season where they claimed the NPL Two title. It was the senior team's first piece of silverware.
Fry will leave a legacy at Wanderers. Coach Dave Leonard said Fry will leave a huge hole.
"We'll definitely get him around the club because the boys love him, everyone loves him, you can't not but love him," Leonard said.
"We'll definitely miss him around the group this season but we'll try and get him around as often as we can because when he's around, morale is always high."
Fry, a Pascoe Cup premiership winner at Junee, has been at the Wanderers since 2016.
He weighed up a few options for this season and is set to play some Pascoe Cup. Fry naturally received strong interest from clubs and has all but settled on one.
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"I've been tossing around a few ideas. I'm still going to play footy, play footy somewhere," he said.
"It was either going to be in something much less serious like third or fourth grade, maybe Wanderers, but I think I'll probably play Pascoe.
"I'm pretty close (to having decided) but nothing to put out there."
Fry leaves Wanderers after 98 games and the club is open to options to get him to the 100-game milestone.
Leonard said Tim Kross will step up from under 23s to take on first grade goalkeeping duties this year. Adam Stevens will take the step from under 18s to 23s.
Fry plans to still attend some of the Wanderers goalkeeping training sessions and is looking forward to attending plenty of games as a spectator.
"I'm still going to stay involved at the Wanderers," he said.
"I went to the trials. Hopefully I'll still be able to get to the goalkeeper sessions that they run on Thursdays, which are of massive benefit.
"I'd love to be involved with the club for a long time and I'll certainly be going to the games.
"I'm actually kind of looking forward to Saturdays without too much stress and might be able to go down and watch the boys rather than being in the sheds."
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