'You're a long time retired', goes the old saying, and while Tom Shaw's future may ultimately lie in coaching, his delight at being back on the field is clear.
That's not surprising. It's been a rollercoaster season for the Blues, but particularly for Shaw.
He started the campaign as the club's newly appointed assistant manager, a role which, to the increasing disappointment of supporters, restricted him to just two fleeting substitute appearances before Jon McCarthy was sacked.
But, since Marcus Bignot was appointed as McCarthy's successor, and after he was charged with the responsibility of leading the club in the interim period between bosses old and new, Shaw has not missed a match.
The 30-year-old has started the last three league games and it would be a shock if his name was not included in Chester's starting line-up for Saturday's FA Cup clash at his former club Kidderminster Harriers (3pm).
That's because Bignot seems to share the opinion of the Blues fans who were calling for his return to the team - that Shaw is too good to leave out.
"It's been great, it's been brilliant (to be back playing)," said Shaw, who has taken up the role of Bignot's first-team coach. "I've really enjoyed playing in the three games and I feel like I've done okay considering the lack of match fitness that I had.
"From a coaching side it's been great to watch him (Bignot) work. He's a really thorough and detailed coach and he's definitely somebody I will be able to learn from.
"But playing wise I've just got to keep fighting to stay in the 16 and in the 11 because I've missed it massively - more than I realised. That buzz of the first win against Maidenhead was terrific.
"I missed the whole process of training and playing so it's been good to be back out there and putting in some reasonable performances that I'm relatively happy with.
"Each game I've felt a little bit stronger. I managed to get to injury-time on Saturday (against Tranmere Rovers) so, if selected, in another couple of games I'll be near my best."
Shaw was Bignot's boot boy at Rushden & Diamonds and it was at the now defunct East Midlands club that he suffered the biggest FA Cup disappointment of his career - a disappointment he is hoping to rectify with Chester.
"We got to the second round and played Tamworth with the chance of playing Norwich City in the next round on the telly (BBC) and we blew it," said Shaw.
"That's the closest I got to a big game so it's something to tick off the bucket list; to have a really good cup run before my playing days are over. Hopefully we can do it this year."