Josh Schmiedel has chosen club loyalty over blood ties after deciding to end his career where it started.
The two-time NSW Country representative will stay at North Tamworth this year instead of linking with Gunnedah to play under this father, Mick - the Bulldogs' new coach.
The second-rower, 33, is treating 2020 as his final season - having made his first-grade debut as a 17-year-old at Norths and then going on to have a distinguished career in Newcastle and Aberdeen, before returning to the Bears last season and helping the side to a Group 4-record sixth-straight premiership. The side also won the Clayton Cup for a third time.
Sustaining a serious eye injury last season and suffering a series of "niggling" injuries, coupled with his children now living in Newcastle with their mother, has convinced him that his playing days are coming to an end.
But with the nation beset by coronavirus, it is unclear whether the Group 4 season will commence in early May as scheduled.
North Tamworth would be relived that Schmiedel was not lost to the side like two other veterans from their dynastic reign, Shane Wadwell and Kieran Fisher, who both retired at the end of last season.
"It was a real spanner in the works, obviously, with Dad going to Gunnedah," Schmiedel said, in reference to him being put in a loyalty bind.
"I would have loved to have gone out there [Gunnedah] and help them achieve what they've been trying to do for a couple of years [win a premiership]."
Schmiedel said that it also would have been "good" to finish his career with his father.
"But I always said, when I was coming back to Tamworth, that I wanted to finish off at Norths. It's where my career started, and they've always meant a lot to me.
"And I think, more than anything, it's logistically [better to stay at Norths]; it's just the travel.
"I know Gunnedah's only 45 minutes away. But my daughters live in Newcastle. And when they come down, I don't want to be spending every two weeks, or whatever, when I've got my girls travelling over to Gunnedah - just wasting that time I could be spending more with them."