ONE of the Hampden league's most decorated forwards is returning to the competition for the 2021 season.
Jason Rowan has signed with Warrnambool after four years as coach at Warrnambool and District league club Merrivale.
Blues president Simon Perry told The Standard the club was rapt to welcome Rowan, who sits second on the Hampden league all-time goal-kicking list, back to Reid Oval.
"From our point of view as a club we're really happy Jase wants to come back," he said.
"From his point of view it's a chance for him to come back with his family and I know that was a big conversation I had with him.
"It's a chance for him to finish his career at Warrnambool. He's got two or three more years in him I believe."
Perry said Rowan had shown his leadership qualities during his time at Merrivale but felt the time was right to return.
He has signed with the Blues in a playing capacity.
"He's gone to Merrivale and done a really good job there coaching and supporting and helping out and now it's a chance for him to come back and concentrate on his own footy and just have a kick," he said.
"He is a Blue through and through and it's just great for our club he wants to come back and be involved.
"He will bring a lot of leadership and ideas and presence on the footy field."
Perry said Rowan originally left with the Blues' best wishes.
"We always supported him when he went to Merrivale. We said when he left that our door was always open," he said.
"I am a bit of a believer 'once you're a Blue, you're always a Blue'."
Rowan sits behind Tony Russell on the all-time Hampden league goal-kicking list.
Perry believes he could give the record a shake.
"You never know. These days players are playing a lot older," he said.
"He's 33 or 34 and a lot of players play up until they're 36 or 37, particularly that full-forward position."