DANIEL Watson is ready for his football homecoming after a stint in London.
The Melbourne-based midfielder has signed with Cobden for the 2023 Hampden league season.
Watson, 28, said he had considered focusing on running but had "itchy feet" and wanted to be part of the Bombers' finals quest.
It comes after he landed in Australia in September, settled in Mill Park and picked up work at Mount Ridley College in Craigieburn.
"At the end of 2019 I moved to London for my teaching career and fell on my feet a little bit," he told The Standard.
"I was at a school and worked my way up to be the head of PE, so I stayed over there a bit longer than I anticipated. I was there for three years."
Watson, whose partner Tayla is also a teacher, was based in south-west London but was teaching in north London near Wembley Stadium. He said the area had its challenges but was rewarding.
"I grew to love it and really became a part of the community there," Watson said of the 700-student primary school.
Watson, who has endured a spate of injuries across his career, will return to Australian Rules refreshed.
He played soccer casually in the United Kingdom and ran a marathon.
The former Geelong Falcon, who was part of Cobden's 2012 grand final side, said he had unfinished business at his home club.
"My heart has always got ties back home and being away for three years, I haven't been able to see mum and dad at all or my family so I thought I'd be able to do two things at once and play for Cobden," he said.
"I came back in September and watched some local footy finals and you're a long time retired so I thought while I am still young and have got the energy I'll continue to play."
Watson is bullish about Cobden's prospects under second-year coach Dan Casey.
The Bombers have already welcomed Jack Hammond, Brody Mahoney and Jesse Williamson back into the fold while Tom Mahony has crossed from Panmure.
"Not long after I landed they signed Brody, Jesse and Jack and the momentum was kind of building and I was already in talks," Watson said.
"My cousin Matty Harkin, who is the runner, told me they (the team) had really turned a corner and were committed to Dan and becoming what they were projected to be because they were very successful juniors.
"They are committed to getting fit and that's something I am passionate about and when I heard that, it really made me think I could commit to travelling back."
Watson wants to give the Bombers' faithful a reason to smile as the club hasn't played finals since 2017.
"For the community it means the world when the club is up and about and you can feel the vibe with the netballers also recruiting well," he said.
"The hard work starts now and hopefully we can carry that forward into some sort of success."
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