Ben Todd’s name is synonymous with North Companions.
The 38-year-old’s been at the club since he was a junior and will play his last Northern Inland Premier League game on Saturday.
While Todd said he wasn’t sure how he’d feel after the game was done and dusted, he said the time was right to call it a day.
“The kids are growing up now, I’m doing a lot of coaching and to play premier league you have to be [there] 100 per cent mentally,” Todd said.
“You have to train two nights a week, put the hard work in to get results and I can’t commit to that.
“I think it’s unfair on the young boys that want to do it so it’s time for them to step up and carry the flag.”
As a junior growing up in Oxley Vale, Todd played with the local club there until under 12s before making the jump to Northies where he met three of the “biggest influences” on his soccer career.
Firstly, there was junior coaches David Coupland and Gary Pinkerton who helped shape a young Todd before some years later he stepped into the senior ranks.
There, up in premier league, Todd was mentored by coach Andrew McFarlane.
“Back in the glory days of Northies when we were winning those comps, I came in and he [McFarlane] was the coach and he made me into a central midfielder. He was a big influence and taught me a lot,” Todd said.
Todd had an impressive run in his early days in the premier league.
After debuting in 1999, Todd was a part of North Companions’ premiership-winning teams of 2001 and 2004 before captaining the side in 2007 when the club won reserve grade and first grade titles.
He then had to wait a decade before claiming another title in 2017 where Northies again claimed reserve and first grade crowns with Todd as captain.
Each one held a special place in Todd’s memory bank.
“They all have their little [special parts]. You remember bits and pieces of each year but winning the double in 2007 and ‘17 – they were definitely the highlights,” the 38-year-old said.
While Saturday’s clash will be Todd’s last in the premier league, he didn’t close the door on playing locally.
He’ll also remain involved with the club.
Todd became a life member in 2010 and will stay on the committee as well.
“It’s just a wonderful club to be involved with. There’s great people, great kids, great committee,” Todd said.
“Like I said last year when we won it [grand final], it was for the club. There’s so many great people doing great jobs.
“It’s a family orientated club that I’m very lucky to have been associated with.”