Steve Jolliffe’s return home to Collingullie-Glenfield Park has proven short-lived with the talented midfielder joining Hume League club Howlong for next season.
Jolliffe has signed at Howlong as assistant coach to good mate Beau Packer, who has joined the Spiders from Ovens and Murray League club Wodonga Raiders.
Jolliffe was a mid-season recruit for the Demons this year after being released from his contract at Raiders, where he was co-captain.
The 25-year-old played 11 games for Collingullie-GP and helped steer the club to a grand final appearance, where they went down by six points to Leeton-Whitton.
Jolliffe said the role at Howlong was more suitable for him at this point in his career.
“It’s closer to where I’m living, and it’s an assistant coaching role,” Jolliffe said.
“It was really hard travelling (to Collingullie) by myself, especially with a young family.”
Jolliffe credits his stint at Collingullie for helping rekindle his love of the game.
“The reason I came home was that I was in a bit of a tough spot at that stage,” he said.
“I wasn’t expecting it to be a permanent thing but coming back home to play footy, it got me enjoying myself again.”
Jolliffe said it was a difficult decision to leave Collingullie-GP after a short but enjoyable return.
He said he will be back in a Demons jumper again, and next time it is likely to be for good.
“I’m always going to be coming back home, no matter what,” he said.
“When I move back to the farm, I’ll get back and come to the Gullie and hopefully play the rest of my career out there.
“It’s always going to be home, and they know that.”
Collingullie-GP coach Luke Gestier was disappointed to lose Jolliffe but understood his reasons for playing closer to the border.
“Obviously it’s not ideal but at the end of the day, that’s life and footy,” Gestier said.
“It’s up to the individual and you have got to do what’s best for you at the end of the day.”
The Demons have re-signed the majority of their playing group and are confident they will keep their losses to a minimum.
Gestier said they will look to bring in some recruits as they strive to go one better in 2018.
“We’re after some fresh blood and will be looking to recruit,” he said.
Gestier re-signed for a second season as coach at Collingullie-GP earlier in the year.