MANGOPLAH-Cookardinia United-Eastlakes forward Trent Castles hopes to stay at the club next year, declaring his season with the Goannas has helped him rediscover passion for the game.
Castles has booted 54 goals in just eight games before Saturday's top-of-the-table clash against Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong.
The full forward doesn't play every away game, but has declared himself a starter, with the reward for the winner top spot on the ladder.
The Goannas are unbeaten, with the Lions' only loss against MCUE in round five.
GGGM can claim top spot due to their superior percentage, but shutting down Castles will be a priority after he kicked nine of MCUE's 14 goals in the 49-point round five win.
Castles feels right at home at the Goannas and is keen to remain there should the pieces fall into place.
"That's the plan, I've really enjoyed it," he said.
"The last few years I've played a lot of football, and the last couple of years I fell out of love for it.
"This year I've enjoyed playing and wanted to go to footy on a Saturday. It's refreshing for me to feel that again.
"It does help having good teammates and Rowey (Jeremy Rowe) as a great coach who respects each individual player and what needs to be done.
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"I haven't spoken to anyone about next year. We'll focus on this year and talk about that after. It's a hard thing as you never know what will happen in six months time, but my intention is to stay there."
The Goannas are coming off a strong win over third-placed Coolamon, and Castles expects the Lions to be a tougher proposition than round five.
"It's exciting to play teams who are in the top three who can challenge you," he said.
"I think Ganmain are probably the next benchmark for us, if we can get over the top of them it sums up our year.
"Our back-line in unbelievable. We've got a good spread, but I feel like the back-line is our strong point.
"We haven't had the perfect game I don't think just yet, but I don't think it's far away."
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