NEW Henwood Park signing Ethan Piper isn't short on motivation.
After nearly quitting the game, the 17-year-old wants to use his stint with the Hawks to open doors to bigger things.
The striker played under first-year Hawks coach Scott Elphick at Grafton United before heading to the Australian Football Academy on the Gold Coast.
He almost hung up the boots before his old mentor came knocking.
"I was ready to quit football just because of how I was treated by other coaches," Piper said.
"Scott heard about it, called me up and said 'I won't let that happen'.
"I'm trying to make a career out of it. With the Canberra league nearby I'm hoping it will be a platform toward something else.
"I've heard it (Pascoe Cup) can get very physical and is similar (in that respect) to the Grafton league.
"I obviously still had a passion for the sport and wanted to keep playing."
Wingers Damon Watson and Domenic Ciampa have also joined the Hawks from Newcastle National Premier League club Weston Workers Bears and Tolland respectively.
Piper will help fill the goal-scoring void left by the departure of last year's Henwood Park player-coach Matt Menser to Wagga City Wanderers.
"All those three guys will tighten up some areas we needed to fill, they've jelled really well with the boys and Damon and Ethan have been training with us for a few weeks."
Watson, 19, will juggle his soccer commitments with his burgeoning career as a harness racing driver.
He steered his first winner, $81 long shot Nipper's Grin, at Leeton late last month.
"Just watching a few of the games and seeing the results, I just thought it (Henwood Park) would be a good club to come to when we came down," Watson said.
"I played 18s for the Bears but am hoping to step up into first grade this year."
Ciampa, 20, has opted to join Elphick at Henwood Park after forging a relationship at Tolland last year when he was the Wolves' coaching director.
"It (the move) is just for my own personal development and I wanted a new challenge," he said.
"The coach's experience and how he influenced me at Tolland was a factor, too. He was just floating around the club and was really good to me."