STEVE Woods has come down in the world, but even relegation won't stop football from giving him a high.
He had managed to sustain a Football League career for 12 years, but then his club Torquay United finished bottom of Division Two and that means Conference football, at least for a season.
The first fixture he will look for on the list will be Northwich Vics away, because that will mean a trip home for him and a convenient match at last for his family.
'Instead of a three-and-a-half-hour journey to watch me it'll be just down the road for them,' he said.
'I'm looking forward to it, I'm told the Vics set-up is good.'
Woods, 30, is about to enter his sixth season as Torquay's first-choice centre back.
He is the son of former Winsford United centre half and Barnton manager Tony Woods.
He was brought up at North-wich Road, Weaverham, attended the village schools and emerged as a promising player with Barnton juniors in the Mid Cheshire Youth League.
He was also picked for Mid Cheshire and Cheshire Boys, but he had already been spotted by Stoke City.
He played for their Under 15s and 16s and was given a two-year YTS, which was followed by three years as a professional and over 40 first-team games, mostly under Brian Little.
He left Stoke and spent two years with Chesterfield before moving to the English Riviera and the highs and lows of football - one promotion and two relegations.
'The club has probably lacked a little ambition and is probably now reaping what has been sowed in the past,' said Woods.
'But there has been a takeover; there's a new chairman and manager and hopefully we will get back up.
'We were promoted a few seasons ago and that was fantastic. But the team was pulled apart and we came straight back down.
'It is not easy playing in a relegation team, but it is still great because it is still football and always enjoyable.
'You always try to maintain your own standards, but bad results used to affect my mood. I am more experienced now and can switch off so it does not effect my home life.
'I'd like to stay in the Football League and ideally that would be with Torquay. We get the best of the weather down here and it is a fabulous place to live. But my wife, Liz, is from Chesterfield and we'd both like to move north again at some point.
'We are both close to our families and friends and hope fully there will be children one day, too.'
Woods uses the balmy Devonshire summer months to improve his golfing handicap - down to 14 - and collect qualifications as retirement hoves distantly into view.
He is a qualified coach and is currently learning plumbing.
'They say your body tells you when it's time to pack in. I think I could play for another five or six years yet,' he said.
Woods Snr was a huge influence on his career. He became something of a legend at the Barton Stadium, playing alongside Ted Kneale in a Cheshire League champion-ship-winning team managed by John Williams.
He later led Barnton to the Mid Cheshire League title.
'Dad would talk me through things, of course, and he'd put me right, but it was not so much coaching but the encouragement from mum and dad I remember best,' said Woods Jnr.
When he does retire Woods plans to return to cricket. He was a promising middle-order bat with Weaverham and stays in touch with his mates at Wallerscote Road.
He may have had three football clubs and there may be more in the future, but he says: 'I have only ever wanted to play cricket for Weaverham and I'll be back one day.'
Indeed, he was back last weekend, renewing acquaint-anceships and taking part in a President's Day match, though perhaps he meant permanently.