THERE was always a chance Jack Gleeson would land at Koroit.
The Merrivale premiership player with links to the Saints finally accepted an offer to join the Hampden league powerhouse in 2019.
Now Gleeson, 23, is preparing to play in his first grand final in red, white and black.
He has entrenched himself in the Saints' back line after returning to Victoria following a year-long stint in Noosa with girlfriend Mylie Gill.
"(Koroit coach) Chris (McLaren) got on to me. He asked me towards the end of last year if I was going to come home or not," Gleeson said.
"I'd always thought about going out to Koroit. He'd asked me a few times before. I just thought if I don't do it this year, I never will."
Gleeson is the latest in a swag of players - footballers and netballers - to cross to and from Merrivale and Koroit.
The apprentice builder said "it is a good little relationship" between the Warrnambool and District and Hampden league clubs.
"My cousin Alex Pulling plays at Koroit and my mum (Helen) has played out there before and my sister (Kate Dobson) and her husband (Damian Dobson) and my nephews play out there in the juniors," Gleeson said.
"My brother Sam played out there for a couple of years too when he was 17."
Gleeson played in the Tigers' 2014 flag and their losing grand final the following season.
He reached a grand final with Noosa last year in his only season in Queensland.
Gleeson said he'd embraced the high standards set at Koroit.
"It is a lot more serious. It's a higher quality, everyone puts in a lot more effort all round with training," he said. "Everyone is 100 per cent, not just 10 or so people."
The Saints' well-oiled back line has allowed Gleeson to settle into his new environment. "As soon as we've got the ball, I try and give a bit of run and carry and drive off the half-back flank," he said.
"We've got Tim McPherson and Tim Martin and they are like the generals down there and they do a lot of talking, tell you what's going on and call you back if they have to."
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