Canberra Demons have won the race to sign Mangoplah-Cookardinia United-Eastlakes teenager George Kendall.
The 19-year-old always planned to move away for university next year but will continue his promising football career in the North Eastern Australian Football League (NEAFL) with the Demons.
Canberra Demons coach Kade Klemke was thrilled to secure another promising Riverina talent.
"We're very rapt to get him," Kendall said.
"He's a key position player that can play both ends of the ground. He moves really well for a key position player, which suits NEAFL footy because it's fast, flowing football.
"There is a lot of upside to his game and we're pretty excited to have him on board. Not just for next year but the years to come. Not just George but also guys like Riley Corbett are going to be a massive part of our sign."
In a big development for the Demons and AFL Riverina, Kendall will not be entirely lost to the Goannas.
Kendall will be free to play for MCUE when not selected for the Demons in a landmark decision, that is just for this season at the moment and applies only to players recruited this season.
In the past, Demons players have been forced to play with AFL Canberra clubs Gungahlin or Tuggeranong when not selected at NEAFL level.
The new rule will apply to players from Riverina, Farrer and Hume Leagues.
Klemke, who hails from the region, explained the rule is something the Demons have been working on for some time.
"Any boys that we recruit from the Wagga area can go back to their footy clubs," he said.
"It's only for this year but it's been something we've been working towards for a long time.
"We consider the Canberra Demons as a rep side of Southern NSW."
Kendall kicked 46 goals from 16 games playing at centre-half-forward for the Goannas this year.
He was rewarded with MCUE's best and fairest award, and also finished equal fourth in the Jim Quinn Medal.
The Demons have also signed Marrar forward Rhys Mooney, who has also moved to Canberra for university.
Mooney has played 33 senior games for Marrar over the past three years and kicked 34 goals from 14 appearances this season.