Sean Pye isn't ready to step away from premier league football.
The former Murray United defender has signed with the Border club's arch rival Goulburn Valley Suns for the 2021 Victorian NPL 2 season.
Pye was set to play with Murray before its senior program was terminated prior the 2020 season, which was ultimately abandoned due to COVID-19.
The 33-year-old said the break from football came at the perfect time, and, after he was invited to play some trial matches by Suns coach Craig Carley, he was hungry for more.
"I think mentally and probably physically as well, I needed to stop and reset," he said.
"In that year off I must admit I didn't really miss it, but once I went down to GV it just felt right.
"It's like riding a bike, once you start playing football again it becomes normal for your body and I just loved it.
"When I first got there, putting on their shirt for the first time, which is now my shirt, did feel a bit strange.
"But honestly, you play one game and it feels like it's normal again.
"Craig has been really good to me, the club has been really good to me and all the boys are really good lads, so that's obviously made it easier to come into the squad."
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Pye admitted he had to factor in the 350-kilometre round trip from Albury to Shepparton three times a week before he made the decision, but is confident he can manage.
"The travel is a big commitment to make, but compared to previous NPL seasons, the season is a little bit shorter because it's split into NPL 1, 2 and 3 this year, as opposed to NPL 1 and 2," he said.
"In terms of training, it's a big commitment and a big chunk of travel that needs to be done, but it makes it easy when I'm enjoying the football.
"I'm going a couple of times for training and a game on Saturday, so I'm driving there three times a week and it's not bothering me at all.
"It might get a bit tougher when it gets colder and colder, but it's fine at the moment (laughs).
"Darcy Pawlik (former Murray United teammate) was travelling from Melbourne originally and I think he's between here and Melbourne, so where we can we share the driving which makes it a bit easier as well.
"It's a test no doubt about that, but you're a long time retired so I'm planning on playing a few more years yet."
Pye slotted into the Suns' defensive setup as a centre back and has enjoyed the brand of football they want to play.
He said the squad is also prepared for the possibility of the season being delayed throughout the year.
"I've got it in my head that the season isn't going to run smoothly, as we've already experienced when we had a game on the weekend knocked on the head on Friday," Pye said.
"Personally, I just want to play, stay healthy and just enjoy my football."
The Suns host Bulleen in round one of the season on March 20.