Coleambally have dropped a recruiting bombshell, bringing one of the Riverina League's finest to the Farrer League.
Griffith Swans star Guy Orton has signed on to join good mate Curtis Steele at the Blues. The two-time Jim Quinn Medallist believes he'll be reinvigorated with a new challenge.
"I'm stoked about it. I had a good chat with Steeley. It's going to be, hopefully, a good year," Orton said.
"He wants me to go through the midfield and play up forward. He's keen to pick my brain about the coaching side of things, obviously he's new to coaching as well. I'm looking forward to helping him out and also going to a new club to play at.
"You can get relaxed being at a club for so many years... I'm really looking forward to the challenge. I've already started doing some running and hopefully I'll be super fit coming into round one next year."
Orton had two years as coach at Griffith and two years in charge of the Riverina League representative team (2017-2018), which he represented as a player seven times.
He brings leadership and experience to Coleambally, where Steele is a first-year co-coach alongside Luke Hillier in his second.
"That's why we were chasing him, to give us a bit more structure in the midfield and he's had a bit of coaching experience so we thought who better to have than him to help Luke and I out," Steele said.
"And to have bit more knowledge running through the midfield. Because we've got a heap of young kids in our side, it's a bit more experience to help us through it all."
It also brings to a fruition a pipe dream that the pair weren't ever certain they'd pull off.
"Ever since we've played a bit of rep footy together, we've talked about it and contemplated who's going to go where or how we'd end up playing together and it's fallen into place this year which is good. I'm super excited, actually," Steele said.
Orton joined Griffith in 2011 from the Loddon Valley League and won two league medals in his first two seasons. Apart from spending 2015 in Darwin with NT Thunder, he's been a Swan ever since.
He'd love to have seen the club taste the ultimate success in the last two years but said, at 33, he felt if he was going to make a move, this was the time.
"It's going to be a bit different, not putting on the red and white on a weekend," Orton said.
"Obviously it would've been nice to get a win, at least one of them. But I just felt it was time to move on and try something different. I've never played in the Farrer League so I'm looking forward to the challenge ahead."
Coleambally expect to retain most of the team that took them to an elimination final. Another couple of signings to add to Orton could see them develop into a force to be reckoned with.
"We were a bit disappointed in how we went out of finals," Steele said. "It was a big thing to make finals again and now we've got a bit more hunger in the blood, they want to go again, so that's why we've started recruiting and hope to get a few over the line before Christmas so we can get the ball rolling and work out some structures and game plans."