As he counted down the days left before Jan 31, his last working day at the Singapore Table Tennis Association (STTA), Eddy Tay grew more and more sentimental.
Then, when the STTA senior high performance manager was on vacation in Taiwan over the Chinese New Year holidays, he realised that he could not bear to leave the sport.
The 39-year-old then made a U-turn on his decision to leave the STTA job he had held since 2008. He had originally agreed to take up a lecturer's position in sport management.
Tay told The Straits Times: "I pretty much grew up with table tennis, I played table tennis and it has always been part of my life since I was young.
"After I tendered my resignation three months ago, many of the athletes and their parents sent me text messages to ask me to stay on. It was really touching. These people have become like family to me.
"I never thought that I would miss it so much. I realised that being in table tennis for so long, I miss it and I can still contribute to the sport.
"My goal is to have a local player to represent Singapore in the 2020 Olympic Games. We've been doing a lot of work in local youth development and I hope that three to four years later, we can see results."
STTA chief executive officer Wong Hui Leng welcomed Tay's return to the sport's local governing body.
She said in a statement: "Eddy has played a key role in the high performance development of table tennis and has been a great asset to STTA.
"The STTA is happy to have Eddy back in the team and continuing to make a contribution.
"We believe that his strong knowledge of the sport will help the STTA and the high performance programmes."