DARREN Powell might have got more than 250 league appearances under his belt since the last time he wore a Hampton & Richmond Borough shirt.
But that means little to his team-mates who were barely in short trousers when Powell first donned a Hampton shirt back in 1997, before enjoying a league career with the likes of the Brentford, Southampton and Crystal Palace.
Powell, who has been without a club since being released by MK Dons two years ago, made his second Hampton debut in Saturday's draw at Havant & Waterlooville.
However, according to Beavers boss Mark Harper, when Powell returned it sent the youngsters in his squad scrambling for their iphones as they had no idea who he was.
Therefore, while Harper is happy to the 35-year-old’s vast experience on board for the Blue Square South relegation scrap, to many in the squad, he is just another player.
“A lot of them haven’t heard of him. The 17 and 18-year-olds in there won’t even know who Darren Powell is,” said Harper. “So unless they go on You Tube or Google and put his name in the search, they won’t know about him.
“They still give him the same abuse as they give the rest of the boys, because that is what football is all about. The good thing about Darren is, although he has got an aura about him, he is not big time and has a laugh and a joke with the boys.”
Powell was ineligible for Tuesday night’s 4-1 FA trophy replay victory over East Thurrock, secured by Dave Tarpey’s hat-trick and a stunning goalkeeping display from Craig Ross, because he was not signed at the time of the original tie.
However, he will be back in the squad for Saturday’s trip to Northwich Victoria – a game to be played at Macclesfield Town after the Vics were refused permission to use their Victoria Stadium by new Landlords.
Harper added: “To play in the last 16 of any competition you are always going to be up against it, and it will be lovely for the kids in the side to play at a Football League ground, but you don’t want to get caught up in it being at Macclesfield – if you are going to be in the last 16 you want to make sure you are making it through to the last eight.”