AT 43, Rod Barton insists he's in his last month of A grade cricket.
But with three of his boys in lower grades, he's going to remain an item at North Albury for some time.
One of country cricket's classiest batsmen-wicketkeepers, Barton has been a powerhouse at North Albury with seven senior flags to his credit.
Club captain and opening batsman for 10 years and more, he has dropped back to the middle order and is happy to help advance his three boys: Jesse 17, Tyler 14 and Rhett, 8.
"I'll still be around helping," he says. "It's just what you do at clubs like ours."
Scorer of more than 20 bush centuries, including seven at representative level, Barton played for Vic Country in two national carnivals in Albany and Gippsland alongside some of the best rural players of recent times from Robbie Bedford (from the Mornington Peninsula) and Ian Sartori (Shepparton) to Peter Quick (Geelong).
His proudest moment was being man of the match when Albury won the Provincial Country Week Championship at the MCG soon after the Great Southern Stand had been built.
"That was back in '91. I only got 50-odd but it was a low-scoring game and helped us get over the line," he said.
He also has several centuries at Grand Final level. He made another in a semi-final, carrying his bat against Lavington at East Albury but Norths were beaten by six runs.
In the early '90s he'd play cricket 12 months of the year, supplementing his Saturdays in the Riverina with league cricket in Northumberland in the UK.
He also loves football and is a life member at Dederang/Mt Beauty where he played and coached.
- Ken Piesses's latest book is Football Legends of the Bush, from cricketbooks.com.au