GUN running utility Ben Absolum says a return to his junior club East Wagga-Kooringal was always on the cards.
Absolum, now 24, got his first taste of football at Gumly Oval as a youngster and played in the brown and gold for a decade before following a group of mates to Collingullie-Ashmont-Kapooka.
He has been with the Demons ever since, bar two years in Sydney in 2009 and 2010.
He says it was a love for the club that kickstarted his career and drew him back to the Hawks.
"I played all my juniors there, and it's the club my dad and pop played their senior footy at," Absolum explained.
"I always thought I would go back there, but I didn't think it would be this soon.
"I'd been at Gullie for a long time and I felt like it was time for a change."
Absolum went to the Demons in 2005 and played in CAK's 2008 premiership under Shane Lenon.
He missed the '09 and '10 flags, returning to Crossroads Oval when CAK shifted to the RFL in 2011.
Absolum says it was no easy decision leaving the Demons, but is keen to return to the Farrer League.
"It will definitely be a challenge, going to a new club and new league," he said.
"It won't be easy, it will be a lot of hard work but I'm looking forward to it."
Absolum only has the one premiership medal to show for playing in five senior grand finals and he hopes to help the Hawks achieve their first Farrer League flag in 2014.
EWK coach Gavin McMahon was thrilled to welcome Aboslum on board.
"From our perspective it's another East Wagga junior coming home, and that's a massive positive for us," McMahon said.
"He is a quality bloke, he gives us sensational speed and he is an experienced footballer who has played plenty of good footy."
Absolum will bring fiance Nicole to the club and hopes to get his father back involved with the Hawks.
Meanwhile, McMahon yesterday responded to criticism from CAK coach Lenon, who fired a shot at the Farrer League club after the Hawks signed ace goalkicker Marc Geppert.
Lenon accused EWK of having a "money tree out the back of their shed" and was sour about the Hawks approaching his players.
"It's natural to go into damage control and try to stem the bleeding when you lose players," McMahon said.
To see what others footballers on are the move this off-season click here.