Jake Grace expects the hairs on the back of his neck to stand up when he runs out in front of the Forbes Magpies faithful for the first time again next year.
The two-time Group 11 premiership winner has confirmed he's returning to the field next season after taking 2019 off to spend time with wife Joelene and newborn son, Noah.
An inspirational leader and back-rower at Forbes and one of the region's most popular and respected players, Grace was man of the match in the Magpies' drought-breaking 2016 grand final win and he was huge two years later when club secured another premiership in thrilling circumstances.
After that one-point win over Dubbo CYMS he led the Magpies to victory in the first Premiers' Challenge in 2018 as well, before announcing he was taking a break from the game.
"I'm going to play," Grace confirmed ahead of next year, while admitting a comeback wasn't always certain.
"To be honest, I wasn't 100 percent sure. I wanted the time with the little fella and we wanted that and not have to share that.
"With the birth of the little fella it felt right to have the rest we needed. We're both busy with work as well and if you added footy it wouldn't leave a lot of time at home.
"I didn't know if that would lead me to enjoy not playing or really make me want to play.
"But you don't get to catch up with people as much and be in that arena with your mates."
The camaraderie is one of the biggest things which is bringing Grace back, not just among the players but the fans and wider Forbes community.
The former Magpies skipper spoke at length about the unity with the club and community during his time as captain and he's eager to be part of that again.
"I deadest reckons the hairs on the back of my neck will be standing up," he said of running out in front of the fans.
"I'm looking forward to it, it's a big thing.
"And to have the little fella on the scene now, he's obviously only young, but he'll be involved and my wife will be there too so it will be nice to share that with the whole family."
Joelene is also a former player at the club having represented the Magpies' league tag side.
The Grace family attended a handful of games last season but the former captain also kept his distance much of the time, knowing he'd get the itch to return if he was around the players and mates each week.
Rumours of a mid-season comeback persisted but Grace stuck to his word and put his time and energy into his family.
But now he's primed for a return to the paddock as the Cameron Greenhalgh-coached Magpies look to improve on 2019's run to the minor semi-final.
"I'm very excited. I'm not bursting with joy about being part of Camo's pre-season," Grace laughed.
"There might be a few extra kilograms but once it gets going it will be good and, really, I'm pretty excited to be around training.
"The boys had a very good year and should be proud of it.
"There was a few injuries and things like that and it never helps.
"But the bulk of the crew is still there and with a bit of recruitment I think it's going to be a really good year."
The Magpies have focused on retaining the core group during the off-season but the club has been working to bring in a number of new faces with confirmation expected in the coming weeks.