All it took was some gentle words of inspiration from son Jayce and daughter Immity to stoke the fire and get it burning inside Mitch Fowler's heart again.
The Port City Breakers forward admits he had lost the love of playing rugby league until the moment his children encouraged him to return to the field.
"Over the last three or four years I'd never played with purpose because I'd find every excuse in the world not to go to training because of the kids and stuff like that," he said.
"But this year the kids said I should play footy again and them saying it made me think if I'm going to do it, I'll put my all in to try and have another good crack.
"I found the love for it and enjoyed being fit again whereas previous years I wouldn't make the effort and get fit.
"I've got heaps of things I need to improve on, but it's certainly not going to happen overnight."
He has returned with vengeance and been arguably the Breakers' best in the opening five rounds of the Group 3 rugby league competition.
Fowler said his life had always been about work and family until he reached the crossroads following the cancellation of the 2020 season.
"I felt like I was missing something so the next thing was to really get fit," he said.
"I'd previously never made much of an effort to see my new friends whereas if I play football I'm going to get fit and force myself to see my friends so I was hitting two birds with one stone."
While they have had a slow start to the season, Fowler felt Port City had turned a corner despite the successive losses to Wauchope and Wingham.
They won't get a better chance to snap their two-game winless run than when they host Taree City Bulls at Regional Stadium on Sunday.
Fowler admitted the key to continued improvement was to place an emphasis on doing the little things right.
"Ill-discipline and giving away penalties has cost us, but you've got to take it on individually before you take it on as a team," he said.
"The score isn't really influencing too much on how we're playing and I certainly wouldn't call it disappointing, (there's) just a lot of room for improvement."
First grade kicks off at 3pm.
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