Six weeks into his Notts County career, Shola Ameobi is loving the feeling of being involved in football on a regular basis again.
The former Newcastle man signed a short-team deal with the club at the start of February to put an end to a 10-month exile following his release by Fleetwood Town at the end of last season.
"I never lost the buzz for football, I just wasn't in football," the striker said. "Obviously the matches are what you miss the most, when you step out with 10 other guys and go to battle and the adrenaline gets pumping.
"I’m excited as much now as I was when I was starting out at Newcastle.
"Regardless of the standard or the level, football is such a beautiful game. When I step on the field I still get the same feeling and and that’s something I’m really enjoying now. The longer my career goes, the more I appreciate what I have and what I have been able to do within the game.
"Coming in and helping the team has brought that buzz back and winning helps too. It brings confidence but for me it's all about being in the dressing room having an influence and helping the team achieve what we want to achieve.
"I know I haven’t got long left in terms of playing but it’s about enjoying what I’m doing and I'm grateful for the opportunity given to me by the manager because I’m loving every minute of it."
Ameobi has made 10 appearances for Notts to date, scoring his first goal for the club in the 2-1 win against Hartlepool on 11 March.
It came after he saw a first-half penalty saved by goalkeeper Joe Fryer, the first time he had been denied from the spot in his career.
It is that type of mental toughness which has served the former Nigerian international so well and he says it is a key component of any player who performs at an elite level.
"In life, generally, you are going to get disappointments. Football can be very intense - what you do is there for everyone to see and you have to understand you are going to receive criticism and suffer setbacks during your career.
"You have to have the mental fortitude to take it on board and respond to it and I like to think I have that mental steel. You need it when you play in front of 50,000 people for Newcastle United.
"It is about retaining a sense of perspective. When you have that, the highs aren't as high and the lows aren't as low but you need to give yourself the best opportunity to perform to the best of your ability."
As an experienced professional in a dressing room full of younger players, it is natural for them to gravitate towards the striker, whose time in the game has taken in more than a decade in the Premier League, a handful of Champions League campaigns and a World Cup.
And the 35-year-old is more than happy to offer advice to those who ask for it.
“It is something I have always done throughout my career, and something the managers I have played under have instilled in me to try and do because I do it naturally," he said.
“Obviously on the pitch it’s great, but off the pitch we can discuss different things which happened in the game and how you deal with it.
"I find the young players are coming to me which is a great thing as a senior player to know they want to learn and that’s the most important thing," he added.
"From what I have seen, the lads who have come in and those already here really want to take on board what the manager is trying to implement and I think you can see that in the results and the performances."