Michael Firrito doesn’t know if this is his last AFL season or not but the enduring North Melbourne defender is approaching the finals series like there’s no tomorrow.
Firrito will turn 32 in November but he’s enjoyed one of his most consistent seasons, playing every game bar one before he was one of Brad Scott’s nine rested Roos against Richmond in round 23.
“The body’s feeling really good but I’m just really consumed with what we’ve got ahead of us – after that what will be will be,” Firrito told AAP.
“If my body continues to feel good and the club feels there’s still a need for me then we’ll make a decision together.
“Mentally I feel like I haven’t lost that desire – I’m as driven as I ever have been. I just want to compete and improve and do all of those things.
“So my mind and my body are good and we’re playing finals footy, so it’s great at the moment but we know how ruthless this game can be – it can turn any moment.”
Firrito played the first final of his 251-game career back in 2005 – a losing elimination final against Port Adelaide – and is taking part in his sixth finals campaign.
It’s a testament to his determination after a difficult 2013 season where his form deteriorated to the point he was dropped back to the VFL where he spent over a month trying to prove he still had something to offer at AFL level.
“I was certainly questioned a couple of years ago but since then it’s probably been the most exciting and enjoyable period of my career,” he said.
“I had some niggling body issues that interrupted my preparation and they probably got on top of me. When you’re 29 or 30 years of age and you’re battling for form it’s easy for people to think that the game’s gone past you.
“I never really thought that was the case but it is hard when you can’t perform to the best of your ability.
“But I think I’ve probably been playing my most consistent footy since then. I’m just loving being in the moment and seeing where it will take us.”