South Sydney skipper John Sutton has declared he wants to play on in 2019 after being given a new lease on life under Anthony Seibold.
Sutton, 33, is off-contract at the end of this year and facing the prospect of calling time on his decorated 15-year-career.
Over the next few months, the Rabbitohs and Sutton are facing a momentous decision.
He must be able to prove to Seibold and club management that he’s up to one final season.
Sutton, who grew up in Maroubra in the heart of Rabbitohs territory, finds it difficult to fathom playing in any colours other than the red and green.
Asked if he could play for a rival club, Sutton stops for a moment with the question obviously weighing heavily on him: “I don’t know.
“I’m just enjoying playing week by week. It’s very enjoyable at the moment.”
For the Rabbitohs faithful, many of those inside the club and the man himself, it would be nigh on unthinkable to see him lining up against South Sydney.
After leading Souths to their drought-breaking 2014 premiership, he has ensured he will always occupy a special place in the club’s history books.
He holds the foundation club’s all-time most games record with 293. Barring injury he will soon become the first person to play 300 games for the Rabbitohs.
At a point when many believed he was entering the twilight of his playing career, he has managed to find some of his best ever football under rookie coach Seibold.
Sutton has been one of the Rabbitohs’ best this year and a driving force behind their ascension to fourth on the ladder heading into Saturday’s clash with the Warriors.
“I’m just enjoying my football,” Sutton said.
“I don’t know how long I have left in the game. At the moment I’m just taking it week by week and I feel like it’s working for me.
“I’ve had a bit of a think about it and I do (want to play on). All I can do is make sure I keep playing good football.”
Teammate Cody Walker said he couldn’t imagine Sutton playing for another club.
“I probably can’t see it happening, but I can’t see the future,” Walker said.
“He’s played the most games for this club, the club’s been around since 1908, it’s a massive achievement and it goes to show the type of player he is. He’s still playing some really good footy.”