DEPARTING Warrnambool defender Will Jacobs is eager to cement his status as leader at the Bellarine Football League's reigning premier.
Jacobs, 26, has signed with Barwon Heads after 118 games with Warrnambool.
The lifelong Blue, who will work as a casual relief teacher after a one-year stint at Merrivale primary, said friendships and a "fresh start" lured him away from Reid Oval.
I didn't entertain the thought of going anywhere else.Will Jacobs
"Ned Auslebrook and Otto Opperman are two good friends of mine and are basically the catalyst for the move," Jacobs told The Standard.
"I didn't entertain the thought of going anywhere else. It was pretty easy to go straight to Barwon Heads.
"Every conversation I've had with their general manager and the two coaches has been really positive."
He expected to fill a role in the Seagulls' defence but hadn't yet discussed his role at length.
Becoming a bona fide leader is also high on Jacobs' agenda.
"I think (defence) is where I play my best footy," he said.
"I've had a more senior role at Warrnambool in the last couple of years and hopefully I can bring some of that (to Barwon Heads).
"I think they're a pretty young side. I really want to help out and be one of the more senior guys in the side."
Jacobs said leaving Reid Oval was tough but was eager for new horizons.
"I'm sad to leave a club I've basically been at my whole life. I've grown up across the road," he said.
"They've given me a lot but I think the time is right to move on. I've played over 100 games now.
"I think if I'm ever back in Warrnambool I'd definitely go back. It's my club and where I'd like to play if I'm living there.
"I'm still a new teacher and I'll hopefully be able to see a lot of good schools around Geelong this way.
"It'll be a different environment."
Have you signed up to The Standard's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in the south-west.