North Wagga's premiership full-back Brayden Skeers is headed to the Hume League next season, hoping to broaden his horizons and his football experience.
Skeers was among the Saints juniors to shine in their drought-breaking premiership this season but won't be a part of the flag defence after signing with Henty.
Grand final success was the realisation of a dream but the 23-year-old said he'd already made up his mind that it was time to venture beyond McPherson Oval.
"For a couple of years I've been contemplating a switch, just for a bit of freshness," Skeers said.
"I've played a very similar role at North Wagga and I've loved holding down that backline position but they've talked about potentially giving me a bit more time up the ground.
"But it's also to broaden my own footy. Down the track, I might be interested in coaching one day and it would just be good to get a bit more broad experience."
Skeers was part of a core group of Saints to reach 100 senior games for the club in the past couple of seasons. It's a significant milestone at North Wagga, literally unheard of for close to a decade after they went into recess in 2007.
He's regularly been assigned the most dangerous forwards in the league and handled the tasks in style, helping North Wagga develop the best back six in the competition (conceding an average 45 points this year).
But Skeers said he's looking forward to challenging himself at Henty, under coach Heath Ohlin.
"It does excite me. I've met the coach, the assistant and the president but I don't know too many people out there," he said.
"It'll be a slightly different style of footy. I want to better my footy and that might involve playing a different role.
"I know I'm capable of playing the lockdown role but I want to see if I can adapt and play different roles, whether it's a midfield role or running off half-back."
Skeers said North Wagga will always be his home and being part of their success helped ease his mind.
"It's probably better terms to be leaving," he said.
"But I felt like it was the best time for me regardless of whether we won or not. I think the age I'm at, it's good to go out now. I definitely want to come back to North though, home's home."
The move hints at a changing of the guard at North Wagga. Coach Kirk Hamblin announced mid-season that he was stepping down but a replacement is yet to be found.
Assistant coach Lachie Steward and forward James Morris have headed into retirement, Jed Winter is moving away, and a number of other key players are considering a change.