Family ties and friendship have drawn Michael Pritchard to Old Collegians for Warrnambool and District league season 2021.
The half-back, who played with West Brunswick in the Victorian Amateur Football Association (VAFA) the past three years, is a welcome addition for the Warriors looking to build on their preliminary final finish in 2019.
His dad Pat and uncle Tony played seniors for the Warriors.
Pritchard explained Pat, who also played at South Warrnambool, was a full-forward/centre half-forward.
Friends Nathan and Jordan Wallace got Pritchard to training when he moved back to Warrnambool at the start of the year.
"A couple of mates brought me to training to have a kick and get a bit of fitness up," he said.
Pritchard is looking forward to playing in the Warriors' Good Friday opening round clash against Merrivale.
He said footy was probably the thing he missed most last year because of the coronavirus pandemic.
"I've watched the (Good Friday) game a few times, I've always been down for Easter and checked out the Old Collegians' boys and seen how they've gone," he said.
"It's always a big turnout so I'm really excited to be involved this year."
He'll also get the chance to play in front of his family again.
"Dad's pretty happy for me to play here," he said.
"It was either here or South Warrnambool."
Pritchard, who started with Emmanuel Hawks, played with the Roosters in under 18s.
He moved to Melbourne to study at RMIT and played a couple of seasons with Uni Blues (VAFA) in under 19s and reserves.
Then he took the opportunity to run out alongside his brother and cousin for West Brunswick, where he played a mix of seniors and reserves.
The 25-year-old is studying a double degree at Swinburne University - secondary teaching and maths/science, majoring in maths.
"Just with uni going online (due to the pandemic) and not much happening last year, I moved back home to live with my parents in Warrnambool," he said.
He's studying online for first semester.
Pritchard senses the Warriors will be a quick side this season.
"The dynamic of the group is quite young and quick, very youthful and exciting," he said.
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