This is not a drill.
William 'Bubba' Kennedy is back playing bush footy.
After a three-year hiatus, the multi Group 10 premiership-winning superstar has linked with the Orange United Warriors in the Wallerawang Landscaping Cup for the remainder of 2021.
The 52-year-old was lured to the club by brother-in-law Steven Lane, and after just a few minutes of action at Wade Park on Saturday, he made a huge impact.
The blistering outside back helped set up Matty Fuller's third try as United put an end to Portland's undefeated start to the season, downing the Colts 32-18 in chilly conditions.
After passing the half century and spending a few years on the sidelines, many would have expected Kennedy to be somewhat of a passenger on paddock - well, that wasn't the case on Saturday.
"I gave it up about three-four years ago but I've come back to have a run with the Warriors," Kennedy said.
"Boofy [Steve] Lane asked me to have a run. It's good to play with the boys."
Kennedy's physical condition looked excellent, something he attributes to constant hard work off the field.
"Look, I'm a bit sore now," he laughed.
"But, I've been training a lot by by myself. I've been doing boot camp and all of that stuff. It's keeping me going."
Kennedy wasn't too crash on hot on cutting an interview for the Central Western Daily, mainly because he was trying to make it home in time for his son's game at 5.30pm.
Will Kennedy is making waves for the Cronulla Sharks this winter as his continual improvement has been one of the few shining lights at the shire in 2021.
"I'm so proud of him," Kennedy said.
"My daughters and my wife, Kerrie... we're all so proud of him."
Kennedy's appearance for United only added to the list of squads he's played for in the region as Lithgow Workies, Bathurst Panthers, Orange Hawks, Mudgee Dragons, Cabonne United, Cargo Blue Heelers and Blayney Bears have all enjoyed his services over the years.
He's also won Group 10 premierships with Hawks in 2003, Panthers in 2006-2007, and Mudgee in 2009.
Bubba Kennedy's presence was a big talking point at Wade Park, but you shouldn't forget about the efforts of Darren Toomey - another bush footy veteran.
The 51-year-old is playing his second season in Warriors colours and has been traveling to the games from Dubbo.
"This is my first game since the Bathurst knockout," Toomey said.
"last year I was 114 kilos but I've come back this year 10 kilos lighter. I felt alright then.
"I don't pull up too bad. I've been feeling really good."
As for the flow of Saturday's game, the scoreboard probably wasn't a fair reflection of how close the Colts game to the hosts as the squads were neck-and-neck for the bulk of the contest before a Kyle Willmott sin-binning took the wind out of the Portland's sails.
Both Matty Fuller and Will Cusack were immense for the victors, the former scoring a hat-trick of tries and the latter scoring one of his own, in addition to a stack of barnstorming runs and big hits.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:
HAVE YOUR SAY
Send us a letter to the editor using the form below ...