DANIEL Roache’s football career has come full circle.
The Koroit ruckman returned to the Hampden league powerhouse in 2018 after seven seasons away.
Roache, 26, won two premierships with Warrnambool and District league club Panmure before a stint with Mininera and District league club Hawkesdale-Macarthur.
He decided to don the red, white and black again – having last played for the Saints at under 18.5 level.
“I have loved it. I went to school with a fair few of the boys and played junior footy down there so it’s been great,” Roache said ahead of Koroit’s preliminary final against Port Fairy on Saturday.
“Having 'Macca’ (Chris McLaren) as coach too has been great. He was under 18 coach when I was last there.”
Roache lives in Warrnambool with teammate Taylor McKenry but works on his family beef farm 10 kilometres north of Hawkesdale.
He went to school at Hawkesdale P-12 with McKenry and fellow Saints James North, Jeremy Hausler and Levi Nagorcka.
“We were all within two or three years of each other,” he said.
Roache also played against his now-teammates Todd McLean and Alex Pulling when he was at Panmure.
He won flags in 2012-13 before falling to McLean and Pulling’s Merrivale in the 2014 decider. The trio is now entrenched in the Saints’ best 21.
“They were my opponents that day so we have a laugh about it,” Roache said.
Roache will team with Hausler in the ruck against the Seagulls’ double team of Sandy Robinson and Josh Gunning at Friendly Societies’ Park.
“I am a second option so that Jez can have a bit of a spell,” he said.
Roache said he had settled into the pace.
“It’s a lot quicker and things happen a lot faster but if you get in the right spots it’s OK and if you’ve got handy players around you, it makes the transition easy,” he said.