Maitland goalkeeper Matt Trott is eyeing a grand finale to his NPL career and he believes a win over Edgeworth on Saturday could set the Magpies on their way.
Trott, 35, has decided he will not play on in the Northern NSW NPL next season.
"I have a new business and the kids are starting to get to that age where they are taking up sport themselves," Trott said. "Life is getting in the way and football is taking up every minute of weekends sometimes, so it will just be nice to get the weekends back and just have some time back to ourselves.
"I'm happy with everything I've achieved in football and at the club so it's time to step aside and let some young people through.
"I can't be any happier with the club and I still love the club ... it's probably the hardest bit, the people around the club and the playing group, they are such good people, so they will be missed."
The former Central Coast A-League keeper will be a massive loss for the Magpies, where he has been a key player the past five seasons.
Trott had not played for five years when he came to the Magpies in 2016 after moving to the region. The Central Coast product made six A-League appearances in 2007 and after leaving the Mariners in 2008, he played for English non-league club Didcot Town until 2011.
With Trott in goals, Maitland have risen to become one of the competition heavyweights, taking their first top-division premiership last year before losing 2-0 to Edgeworth in their maiden grand final appearance.
The Eagles (30 points) have taken back top spot this year and will secure their fifth premiership in six years with victory at Cooks Square Park in round 12 on Saturday (3.30pm). The match was moved from Sunday.
The game is also crucial for Maitland, who are fourth on 16 points with two matches to play in their shot at the top five. A 6-0 win over a 10-man Adamstown last week revived their finals hopes but they still likely need at least one more win to stay in the hunt for another grand final.
"We needed a bit of a response last week after the previous two weeks," Trott said. "It was a different attitude and different formation and I think that sparked us into action a bit.
"We got our act together but this week is going to be the biggest test. This will see where we are at and if we're up to it, but I'm quite confident. If we play like last week and come with the same attitude, then we're going to give Edgy a good run.
"Two wins and we're definitely there, a win and a loss and we're relying on others to scrape in. It's in our hands. A win this week sets us up for next week [against Valentine] and then we're probably well placed with the bye last round if we get in. It will give us a freshen up for the semis.
"Realistically, we'll be fourth or fifth if we make it and playing four straight weeks if we're going to get to the grand final. It could work really well for us that draw."