A hard-working footballer is ready to return to familiar territory after a change of scenery.
Tom James will add to North Warrnambool Eagles' midfield in 2024 after rejoining the Hampden league club following a 12-month stint in the Wimmera league.
James, 25, plied his trade for Warrack Eagles this year, completing a six-hour round trip each weekend from Warrnambool to Warracknabeal to play for the club.
But the draw of home was too strong.
"North, I usually just call it home," James said of his connection to the Bushfield-based club.
"It's just nice to be back with the people who mean a lot to you and do a lot for you.
"Nathan Vardy taking the (coaching) reins is good, he's got a lot of experience with the top level he's played at and he's a good mind to pick at too."
James enjoyed his time in the Wimmera league, despite Warrack Eagles finishing on the bottom of the ladder with just one win.
"The standard was good, it was pretty surprising actually. They have some pretty good players in there," he said.
"It was a good league, just something different, a good change. All the grounds were good, there was no wet weather for a change.
"All-in-all it was a good challenge and meeting new people was also good."
He travelled with former North player Joe McKinnon. McKinnon has since signed on as an assistant coach at Warrnambool and District league side Old Collegians.
"We drove up every week and then stayed most weekends up there," James said.
"It (the travel) took a toll on me at the end."
James has played the bulk of his football for North Warrnambool Eagles, having started in the club's under 16 program.
The Midfield Meat plumber, who works a mixture of day, night and weekend shifts, has played in three senior grand finals for the club and often ran out alongside twin brother Sam, who is now a leader at Geelong powerhouse South Barwon.
He hopes the pair will play together again one day.
James said he would also love to be part of a the Eagles' first senior premiership in the Hampden league.
"It would be huge, not just for the players but for the people who have worked so hard behind the scenes," he said.
"We have the easy job, just rocking up and playing. It is such a tight-knit community at North, it really would mean a lot to so many people even past players."