Coolamon's quest to go two spots better next year has been given a huge boost by the return of key defender Marshal Macauley.
The 26-year-old spent one season with Ovens and Murray League club Wodonga Bulldogs but has decided to return home to the Hoppers next season.
Injury restricted Macauley to 11 senior games this year, where he was named in the best on three occasions, for the struggling Bulldogs.
Coolamon co-coach Jamie Maddox is thrilled to have Macauley back at Kindra Park.
"We're really happy. It will be great just to have Marshal back around the club as well, he fits in really well and is a good person to have at the club," Maddox said.
"He's only been away for 12 months so he knows everyone, he's played 149 senior games and is exactly what we needed so it's perfect. It's awesome to have him back."
Macauley was assistant coach to Connor Neyland in his final season at Coolamon but will return without any official leadership title.
Maddox is confident Macauley will add flexibility to Coolamon's defence.
"Even his leg speed as well, we knew we were a bit slow down back last year so Marshal's speed will help fix that up for sure," he said.
"He can play key position or on a flank so he gives us that versaility as well."
Macauley's return will help add experience to the Hoppers' defence, that was led by Josh Buchanan and Zach Bradley this season.
After finishing minor premiers, Coolamon crashed out of finals in straight sets.
The Hoppers have promoted Jake Barrett to co-coach, alongside Maddox, kept losses to a minimum and are hopeful of adding a few more recruits ahead of next season.