AUSTIN Steere is a footballer whose game style is suited to an oval with wide expanses and a firmer surface.
It's why his Warrnambool homecoming will be even sweeter.
"I haven't been able to experience the new development at the Reid," he said of the multi-million dollar redevelopment.
"I was pretty happy with that, I've been itching to get out on the new oval to be honest."
The line-breaking utility will reignite his Hampden league career in 2024 after two years in Melbourne where he played for VAFA outfit Uni Blacks.
"I didn't have any nerves and everyone has welcomed me with open arms," Steere said.
"It's made my move and transition home a lot easier. It's good being back at my home club - it's always been a goal of mine to win a premiership with Warrnambool and we are really aiming for that this year and trying to tick it off.
"I think the club is in a good spot at the moment. I don't think we've had numbers like this ever.
"I think having (former AFL midfielder) Ben (Cunnington sign on) encouraged a few other people to come along."
Steere - the son of club icon Wally - has returned to Warrnambool along with Moama-raised partner Tayah.
"It (the city) was always something I wanted to give a go and it was good but I think at the end of the day we were both country people at heart," he said.
The Melbourne experience gave Steere, who is an electrician by trade, perspectives on both work and football.
"For the first year I did commercial so I was based at various large job sites around Melbourne but the second year I was doing domestic and every day was different," he said.
"I was working with a guy who I played footy (with) and was working all over the place."
The VAFA provided Steere with the chance to immerse himself in a different sporting environment too.
"Playing for Uni Blacks, the leadership I experienced was probably the best bit and hopefully I can pass on what I've learned to the younger generation here at Warrnambool," he said.
"Our captain at the Blacks was Josh Steadman and learning a lot from on and off the field was really good.
"It was bloody good footy as well so I was happy to experience that."
Steere, 24, has started pre-season with the Blues and is expected to add a spark to their forward line next year.
He is a former league rising star winner and team of the year member and is eager to develop further under coach Dan O'Keefe.
"I am quite versatile and can play forward, mid and back so whatever he wants from me I'll just have to step up," he said.