Derek Lyle admits he had resigned himself to retirement before proving he could still cut it at Peterhead.
The striker is remaining with the Blue Toon for next season in a player-coach capacity.
Lyle joined the Buchan outfit three years ago, but, during the January to March suspension of the lower leagues, he was seriously considering hanging up his boots.
Boss Jim McInally convinced the 40-year-old to carry on and he netted in his final two appearances of the season.
After proving he could still contribute to the Peterhead cause at the end of the campaign, Lyle was then happy to accept a player-coach offer for next term.
He said: “I did think that was me finished until I spoke to the gaffer.
“I’d said before that I’d like to play until I was 40 and I would’ve been chuffed with that.
“Then Covid kicked in and, with not playing as much and the stop-start during the season, I thought I was ready to retire.
“I didn’t think I’d get back up to speed, but I kept myself ticking over and, when we restarted in March, I enjoyed it again and got up to a level that I didn’t think I could get back to.
“Then having a chat with a gaffer was another thing that influenced me and the last few games probably cemented me staying.
“I’ve always scored goals and I thought if I went through a season without scoring I would’ve been disappointed, even though I hadn’t played too much.
“Scoring a couple of goals in the last three games gave me a boost and showed I can still do it at that level.
“In hindsight, if I hadn’t scored and made in an impact in those last few games I might not have stayed on.
I thought I was ready to retire.”
“Then the gaffer said he wanted me to stay as a player-coach, because I’ve still got life left in me on the park and also to do a bit of a coaching.
“If it had been anybody else, I wouldn’t have carried on. I wouldn’t have gone to another club it was either stay with Peterhead as player-coach or retire.
“Jim and Davie (Nicholls, assistant manager) have been really good with me and Simon (Ferry) is part of the staff as well now and I get on really well with him and the rest of the boys.”
Lyle hoping to grasp coaching chance
Lyle, who has scored in each of the last 22 seasons, is hoping to pass on some his experience as a striker coach next season.
The former Queen of the South, Dundee, Hamilton, Morton and Partick Thistle player admits he was unsure if he would go down the coaching route, but is pleased to have the chance to do it at Balmoor.
Lyle said: “I’ve done my Uefa B License, but I wasn’t sure if I would take up coaching.
“Football is a cut-throat business and I’ve always thought you’ve got to trust people that you work with.
“And I’ve always thought I’d only go into it if I could trust the people I’d be working alongside.
“I’ve seen things happen in my career with people going behind each other’s backs and things.
“But at Peterhead I can certainly trust the people that I’ll be working with, so when I was asked if I’d do a bit of coaching it was a no-brainer.
“As well as trying to push myself on the pitch, hopefully I can pass on some of my experience with the coaching.”