Mangoplah-Cookardinia United-Eastlakes have secured the prized signing of former AFL footballer Damian Cupido.
The Goannas believe Cupido could prove to be the missing piece in the puzzle as they look to end their quest for a maiden Riverina League premiership.
Cupido had signed to play at Corowa-Rutherglen this season but the cancellation of the Ovens and Murray competition last week opened the door on a move to MCUE.
Cupido played 53 AFL games for Essendon and Brisbane Lions between 2000-2005 and has since gone on to forge a successful country football career.
The 38-year-old played at Henty the last two seasons and kicked 114 goals in 2018, before backing it up with another 81 last season.
MCUE coach Jeremy Rowe played with Cupido at South Adelaide many years ago and is pleased to be able to reunite with him at Mangoplah Sportsground.
"He is a huge signing for us," Rowe said.
"When you look at our list, we're pretty happy with how we're sitting going into the season and to a certain degree, we're not looking for too much but if you were to start to dissect it, a notable goalkicker close to home to compliment the work George Kendall will do up the ground for us is something that was really important.
"It's probably something, the last couple of years since Jordan Foster left, is having that real spearhead that hits the scoreboard heavily is something you could argue that we might not have had and someone who averages four to five goals a game and kicks big goals in big games and big moments is a really good way to top off our list."
Rowe believes Cupido, a premiership coach at Rumbalara, will also provide invaluable leadership and direction.
"I think if you look at the way our season went last year, one of the last things to click for us was a, the way we brought the ball forward and b, our forward structure was all coming together," Rowe said.
"It was probably something we needed to continue to work on, even between seasons, and his leadership and know-how in terms of how a forward 50 should work is huge.
"He's got good solid coaching experience behind him, he's a premiership coach and he's someone who towards the latter stages of his career has taken great pride in helping young people and young forwards be the best they possibly can.
"So from a functionality perspective and his own impact perspective he's a very big signing for us."
Cupido's signing adds to the late additions of club juniors Col Sanbrook and Hunter Lloyd. The Goannas have also added former Lockhart junior Jamieson Bouffler.