After 498 appearances, six promotions and seven different divisions with Fleetwood Town, departing skipper Nathan Pond hinted his Highbury story may not yet be over .
The 33-year-old centre-half has risen with Fleetwood from the North West Counties all the way to League One, giving up his job as a lorry driver to fulfil his dreams as a professional footballer.
And he is not hanging up his boots anytime soon, having penned a two- year deal at Salford that provides more security for his family.
And the Prestonian has not ruled out an eventual return to Highbury to give something back to the club and its chairman Andy Pilley by helping out the future generations.
As Fleetwood prepare for their own fresh chapter under Joey Barton, Pond said: “I think I will be back one day coaching. Who knows, I might even get the caretaker role for a while?
“I’d like to think I will definitely be coming back because I’d like to give something back to Fleetwood.
“They have been good to me, so I’d like to come back. Maybe I’d help with some of the younger kids in the academy or something along those lines. Nothing has been planned but the chairman said I’d be welcome back and I would love to help out in some shape or form.”
Pond never expected to make it as a professional footballer but has relished every minute.
He might be dropping back into non-league but the Ammies, like Fleetwood, have roared up the divisions and are one of many full-time teams in the National League.
Pond’s was a fairytale rise but he knows the hard work involved in fighting your way to the top, and he urged the next generation of Fleetwood heroes not to waste their talent.
He also encouraged them to take full advantage of the facilities on offer at Town’s multi-million pound training base at Poolfoot Farm, which is a world away from what he experienced at the start of his Fleetwood journey.
Pond added: “The biggest change in my time is the training facilities. They are top facilities compared to where we used to train.
“As I’m leaving Poolfoot for the last time – well, the last time in my playing days – I can look out and see that all the young pros at Fleetwood have all the facilities and everything they need to progress and to improve, so don’t waste your talent.”
For now Pond is bowing out as Town’s all-time record appearance-maker and a Guinness World Record holder on account of all those promotions with the same club.
But as he prepared to drive out of Poolfoot for the last time as a player, you got the impression Pond’s association with the club is not at an end.