Nightmare traffic, never finding a park in front of his house and a noisy neighbour were just a few grumbles that eventually sparked a move back home for Portland's Martin Curtis.
Spending the better part of 10 years in Melbourne, and playing for several clubs across the state, Curtis is now three games into his first season with the Portland Tigers.
The lively forward said he was enjoying his time at the club, which started the Hampden league season in red-hot form, third on the ladder with three wins from three games.
You can't really live in Portland without being involved in the footy club. It gives you something to do.- Portland forward Martin Curtis
"We've got a lot of new guys, some guys who were previously at the club and have come back," Curtis said. "We're definitely starting to gel."
The Tigers held off a sprightly Hamilton side on Anzac Day, kicking away in the final 10 minutes to retain the Ted Kenna Cup.
Martin, whose set shot goal in the second quarter featured in a Tigers' turnaround, said it was a big day for everyone at the club.
"We had the dawn service in Portland, all got down there and then drove over (to Hamilton)," he said. "Hamilton) played the ground really well, their midfielders got back so it was hard going in the forward line.
"There was ups and downs, ebbs and flows. Credit to us, we stuck at it and eventually got on top of them.
"We're happy to take the cup back to Portland, that's for sure."
A 200-plus game player, Curtis' career has spanned several leagues, including a brief stint at Goulburn Valley League club Mooroopna.
"It's a good league (the GVL) and you got some nice weather up there, you'd drive from Melbourne and it'd be beautiful, no wind, sunny," he said.
But after tiring of the bustling city, Curtis, a builder, said it was nice to return home to Portland.
"It's kind of reinvigorated me, and you can't really live in Portland without being involved in the footy club," he said.
"It gives you something to do, there's training, recovery, we're all heading back to the bar (on Monday)."
With the Tigers one of two teams still undefeated, along with South Warrnambool, Curtis said the group wanted to keep the ball rolling against Camperdown.
"We're happy, and we were happy to get the win (on Monday)," he said. "We take the four points and move on.
"Going forward, like anything, we've still got four or five guys out that can come straight back into the team. We're just trying to get better every week, improve and go again."
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