Danny Kedwell proved a man of his word after joining Hollands & Blair.
In what seemed an unlikely move, Kedwell walked away from a second season at National South Havant to sign for his local club in Southern Counties East.
But it turns out the former Gillingham and Ebbsfleet striker always intended to join Blair one day, promising chairman Paul Piggott it would happen.
At 37, the time is right with Kedwell ready to enjoy his football locally while he focuses on building his own training ground in Gravesend.
It’s a big project - ‘“there’s nothing else like it in Kent,” he says - and so it simply wasn’t practical to stay on at Havant and struggle with the commute to Hampshire, as much as he enjoyed playing for the Hawks.
Kedwell said: “I’ve got to be at the training ground mostly every day and with Blair being right on my doorstep, it’s easier for me to get to and fro.
“We’ve got final planning permission now so it’s literally a case of getting builders in.
“With everything that’s going on, it was a no-brainer to join Blair.
“I’ve known Paul Piggott since I was a kid.
“We used to have banter when I saw him at the garage or the shop.
“He’d say, ‘are you going to come and sign for us?’ and I always promised him I’d come and sign for him for one year.
“He rung me up and said, ‘how much is this going to cost?’ but I’m not here for the money.
"I’ve earned my money in football, I just want to go and concentrate on my facility and enjoy my football without any worries.
“When I said that to him, he said, ‘bloody hell, so we could do something?’ and I said ‘yeah’.”
“I can literally walk over the road, train and walk back home, that’s how close it is.
“They’re paying me something, just what they can afford, what they normally pay their top players.”
Kedwell, who also runs Ebbsfleet’s academy and will move them to his training ground, scored for Blair in a 2-0 friendly win over Rusthall on Saturday.
Dropping three divisions to Southern Counties East takes the veteran striker back to where it all began.
Then known as the Kent League, Kedwell turned out for Lordswood before joining Maidstone and later Herne Bay.
He was top scorer in partnership with Dave Masters as Bay finished runners-up in 2005, earning a move to Welling.
Transfers to Grays and AFC Wimbledon followed before Kedwell reached the Football League with Gillingham, winning the League 2 title in 2013.
He feels the division has changed since his younger days and that suits him just fine.
“I hadn’t seen this standard for years,” said Kedwell, who scored 11 goals in 25 appearances in a new No.10 role as Havant made the play-offs last season.
“I was quite shocked because we played more football on Saturday than I did in Conference South last season, which was more long ball.
“In my day, when I was playing in the Kent League, it was all about the physicality and power, there wasn’t much football being played.
"I think that was just football in that day and age anyway, late 90s, early 2000s, but now people try and play out from their goalkeeper.
"That’s good for me because I haven’t got to run!
“That season at Herne Bay was when my career really started.
“I had my eldest boy, got with my wife and it sorted me out. I started knuckling down.
“We should have won the league that year. We finished second and I was top scorer.
“I had a great partnership with Dave Masters. He did then what I do now - just flick the ball on!”