Rory Delap shrugs off his tracksuit top, revealing the T-shirt beneath. It is not particularly tight but the short sleeves cling to his upper arms, displaying formidable biceps honed by launching countless panic-provoking long throws deep into enemy territory.
Since joining Barnsley on loan from Stoke City until the end of the season Delap has tended to ration his party trick. But he will still be curious to see whether Roberto Mancini orders the perimeter advertising hoardings at the Etihad Stadium to be moved closer to the pitch for Saturday's FA Cup quarter-final between Manchester City and David Flitcroft's Championship team.
"City moved the hoardings once when I went there with Stoke but I ended up on the bench," says Delap who has seen countless goalkeepers and defences struggle horribly with the fallout from his prodigious deliveries over the years.
If Flitcroft is more interested in what the 36-year-old midfielder can do with his feet and his brain, Stoke's Tony Pulis turned the throw into an art form and Delap into a minor celebrity.
"The thing that was different about Stoke was that it was such a tall team, which obviously helps with throw-ins," says Delap, settling into his chair at the mist-shrouded Lancashire country house hotel where Barnsley are recovering from the previous night's 1-1 draw at Burnley. "At over six foot I was one of Stoke's smallest players and we probably had seven or eight strong headers of the ball. It meant that, from throw-ins, we always had four or five effective attacking options in the box at the same time. Most teams have three or four at most."
A knack honed as a schoolboy javelin champion growing up in Cumbria has meant different things to different managers. "At Carlisle I'd do it in the last 10 minutes or so if we weren't winning," he says. "It was the same at Southampton but Derby used it to get in behind the defence rather than throw it into the box. Sunderland didn't use it. It works sometimes. One hundred throws might create two goals – it's like corners and free-kicks."
Delap seems sanguine about seeing his game defined by only one aspect of the talent which has earned him a quietly impressive career. "It doesn't bother me," the former Republic of Ireland international says. "What matters is that I'm playing somewhere."
Despite Barnsley's ongoing struggle to avoid relegation to League One – they are currently third bottom but results have been on an upward trajectory since Flitcroft's appointment in January – he is relishing life at Oakwell. "The lads' work-rate is ridiculous, up there with the best I've played with, but we've got the quality to play football as well," he says. "We're not stupid enough to say we're going to outplay Manchester City but you've got to hope that on the day we're at our best and they don't perform. We watched City beat Chelsea on television the other week as a team and there were a few lads sweating, a few nervous laughs."
Delap has mixed FA Cup memories. There was the crushing disappointment of 2003 when injury prevented his involvement in Southampton's defeat in the final against Arsenal and the slightly anti-climactic experience of 2011 when he was part of the Stoke side that lost another final, 1-0 to Manchester City. "City at Wembley was a bit disappointing," he says. "I don't think they were at their best but we let ourselves down. People were a bit lethargic, I don't know if nerves got to us."
Diligence undid Delap's chances of a showpiece appearance for Southampton in 2003. "I'd done my knee in the quarter-final," he says. "I was on the bench for the semi but didn't feel match fit so I asked to play a reserve game. I've regretted it ever since. I went up for a header and did my ankle so that was my Cup final over. It wasn't the best of times."
Flitcroft, the younger brother of the former City and Blackburn midfielder Garry, is on a mission to bring good times back to Barnsley. "He's doing a very good job," says Delap.
Ever innovative, he took his squad on a scouting mission to Doncaster to watch MK Dons ahead of their fifth-round win against Karl Robinson's side. "That's never happened to me before," says Delap. "And I've played for a few managers. But it was worth doing. David's brought good new ideas in."
Mancini will start worrying if Flitcroft blends an old ploy into Barnsley's bold new blueprint. Shifting position in his seat, Delap stretches slightly and those biceps flex. "I can still do the throws," he says. "It's a tactic we use sometimes."