In early 2017, David Silver arrived in Gunnedah looking for a new job and found the best soccer experience of his life.
On Saturday at Riverside 3 in Tamworth, the 29-year-old married father of one will line up in the midfield for Gunnedah FC against Oxley Vale Attunga in a round one clash.
It will be a major occasion for the player and the club, after Gunnedah FC's elevation to the Premier League this year.
"It's been the most successful, the most challenging and the most exciting, for sure," Silver said of his three seasons at Gunnedah FC, the 2019 first-grade premiers.
He relocated to Gunnedah from Newcastle, where he played third grade while studying teaching at the University of Newcastle.
"I'm nearly turning 30," he said. "So it's something that I did want to do: take it [his game] to the next level and challenge myself personally."
Silver moved to Gunnedah with his wife, Bridie. The couple met at university, with Bridie securing a job at Gunnedah High.
"She got a job in Gunnedah straight out of uni," Silver said, "and I just went with the ball and came to Gunnedah and said, 'Hey, I'm here'. Now I've worked hard and got myself a permanent job." He is a kindergarten teacher at Gunnedah South Public.
The Silvers further solidified their bond with the town via the arrival of their first and only child, Sebastian.
On the pitch, Gunnedah will look to solidify their place in the Premier League, which will finally commence after the gloom of the lockdown.
There will be much interest in the performances of new Premier League sides Gunnedah, South United, Quirindi, Moore Creek and Kootingal.
They have joined established Premier League sides Tamworth FC, OVA and North Companions in the revamped competition established after the acrimonious exit of the Armidale clubs at the end of last season.
Silver said Gunnedah were ready to show Tamworth FC, OVA and Northies "what we've got".
"I'm excited for the challenge ahead," he added.