COOTAMUNDRA Bulldogs co-coach Matt Forsyth's senior representative debut will be his Group Nine swansong after agreeing to join Shellharbour Sharks next year.
The 27-year-old has opted for a seachange after spending his entire career at Cootamundra, and indicated co-coach Chris Maher is also unlikely to return after the Bulldogs claimed the wooden spoon with just one win.
Forsyth will play the bench utility role for Riverina in Saturday's clash with Western at West Wyalong, the first time he's pulled on a Bulls senior jersey.
"I'm heading into the back end of my career so I'll probably finish up there, and a chance should be good," Forsyth said of his move to Group Seven's Sharks, who won the minor premiership this year but failed to make the grand final.
"I've always wanted to do it when I was younger but never got the opportunity, but now my partner lives up there I thought I'd try a different brand of footy.
"I've never played outside Coota my whole life."
Forsyth plays predominately at fullback or in the halves for the Bulldogs, but is likely to spend time at dummy half to give starting hooker and Cootamundra teammate James Woolford a rest.
"I didn't expect it (selection) after the year we had at Coota but when Berks (Riverina coach Luke Berkrey) called me I put my hand up.
"I haven't played footy for probably two months now, but once I get in there I'll be right.
"I don't think I've ever played that position (utility) in my life, it should be a good challenge."
Forsyth said Cootamundra is still assessing its coaching options, but nominated young forward Haydn Cowled as a standout option.
"He'd be a perfect fit, I reckon," Forsyth said.
"He's a young fella but has had experience playing in rep teams and he's probably one of the better forwards in the comp."
Gundagai captain Berkey was initially set to focus on coaching but will now start in the back row after the withdrawal of Yanco Wamoon's Levi Freeman.
The open team will play at 6.30pm, with under-23 and women's matches earlier in the day.