Jock Cornell will make his return to the Riverina League next season at Wagga Tigers.
Cornell has not played in the region since he was drafted to AFL club Geelong as a teen but will return as Tigers' first big signing under new coach Murray Stephenson.
Cornell, 23, is looking forward to returning to the Riverina League, albeit at a new club.
"I am excited to be honest, it's been a few years now so I'm pretty keen to get back," Cornell said.
"I've had this year off in Melbourne because there's been no footy played there so I'm biting at the bit really to get back and get into it."
Cornell believes the season off was a 'blessing in disguise'.
"I think the year off's been pretty good for me in a way, I probably haven't been this keen for a season in a while just purely because all I've done for 17 years is play footy and do pre-seasons every year," he said.
"It's been a blessing in disguise, really. Just take that year off, relax and take a bit of time off footy, which I've never done in my life and it was kind of nice to do it. Now I've done it, I'm happy to get right back into it.
"And to come back to the RFL, I've lost two flags there so I wouldn't mind jagging one."
Cornell's last game in the Riverina League was the 2015 grand final loss, playing for Mangoplah-Cookardinia United-Eastlakes, where he came through the junior ranks.
But Cornell is confident he will feel right at home at Robertson Oval, where his mother Julie coaches netball and brother Zac plays.
After spending the one season at Geelong, Cornell joined Essendon and District League club Maribyrnong Park, where he spent the past three years and kicked 63 goals from 49 games.
He hopes to establish himself as part of Tigers' formidable midfield next year.
"In the middle is where I'd ideally like to be playing and I've had a chat to Murray and I'm pretty confident that's where I'll be starting," Cornell said.
Wagga Tigers president Anthony Lyons is excited to have Cornell on board.
"We're excited he's come back. His family have been heavily involved in the club for several years and it's an easy fit for him," Lyons said.
Cornell, an apprentice plumber, will move home and be based at Wagga.
He is the first new signing under incoming coach, Stephenson, who joins Tigers from SANFL club Central District.
Tigers, who have won the past two premierships, have also announced the re-signings of Brendan Myers, Tom Osmotherly, Shaun Flanigan, Lahn Shepherd and Nathan Cooke.