SOUTHEND United right-back Jason Demetriou will finally start his season when Oldham Athletic visit Roots Hall on Saturday.
Demetriou missed the first three games of the campaign after being sent off against Torquay United in the final game of last season.
But he is now free to feature once more and cannot wait to take on the Latics, if selected.
“It seems like such a long while since I last played,” said Demetriou.
“We all had the same pre-season but to miss the first three games was hard.
“It was my own doing.
“It wasn’t meant and it was a strong tackle but you know whatever you do in pre-season you can’t be picked for the first three games.
"It’s frustrating but there’s nothing you can do about it.
“I’m glad to be available again now and I’m ready for whenever I’m needed.”
The Shrimpers have started the season with two points from their opening three games.
But Demetriou feels it has been a good start for Kevin Maher’s side,
“I think we’ve started well,” said the 34-year-old.
“I know people from the outside might not think it but we’ve had three tough games and two tough away games at places we struggled last season.
“But it will be good on Saturday and hopefully we can get the three points.”
And Demetriou is also setting his sights high beyond Saturday’s clash.
“With this manager, Darren (Currie) and the group he’s got with him I really feel like we could make the play-offs,” said Demetriou.
“I think it’s a good achievable target for us with a good group of players and we can definitely achieve something like that.”
However, hitting the back of the net remains a problem for Blues, including scoring from the penalty spot.
Blues have failed to convert four of their last five penalties, with Callum Powell seeing his effort saved at Halifax Town on Tuesday night.
And Demetriou - were previously scored seven out of eight penalties for Blues - would be prepared to take the next penalty if required.
“If called upon I’d happily take them,” said Demetriou.
“I know I missed the last one but it’s horrible with penalties and it’s just about confidence.
“I’m happy to step up if needed.
"Callum was a bit down about it but like I said to him you were brave enough to step up.
"Once you get one the confidence comes.
"Hopefully whoever takes the next one puts it away and can be the regular penalty taker."
But Demetriou faces a battle to regain his place in the side with Jaden Crowhurst impressing in his absence.
And it will make a selection headache for boss Kevin Maher.
"Jaden has done ever so well in two tough away games we’ve had," said Maher.
"We will decide on that on Friday but it’s good to have JD back and it’s decent competition too."