NOTHING will stop Melton South coach Mathew Sutton playing a farewell match on Saturday.
Despite a chronic hand injury that makes it nearly impossible for him to clench his fist, a hamstring that has given way more than once this year and general wear and tear 37-year-old footballers know all too well, Sutton is committed to pulling on the boots for a final time against Darley at Melton Recreation Reserve.
Sceptics might raise their eyebrows at the star full-forward declaring his career is over; after all, it was only 12 months ago he was facing the same proposition and declared his career over.
This time, however, Sutton says it is certain.
"It's absolutely over this time, no doubt," he said.
"There is a bit of sadness that it is all coming to an end but you know when your time is up and my time is definitely up."
In a decorated career, Sutton won the Henderson Medal in 2002, as well as the Tony Lockett Medal as Ballarat Football League leading goalkicker in 2011 and 2012.
He has managed just nine games this year through injury, but insisted there was no way he was going to miss out on his curtain call.
"Even if I needed injections I would've run out there," Sutton said.
"I'm looking forward to it, though. I think it's the right time for me to pack it in."
Not only will Sutton step down as a player, it will also be the last time he coaches the Panthers.
Melton South is currently on the lookout for a new senior coach and is expected to know who will take the helm in the coming weeks.
For this week, however, the focus is on getting as many people as possible down to Melton Recreation Reserve to bid farewell to one of the league's all-round good guys.
"Hopefully the club might be able to sell a few extra beers for the game at least," Sutton joked.
"I know my mates don't mind a beer and there are a few of them coming along."