FORMER Richmond livewire Troy Taylor will kickstart his AFL comeback bid at Mulwala.
Taylor, 22, is hoping to make it back to the big time after an ill-fated stint with the Tigers in 2010.
Now a father, Taylor joins the Murray league club after booting 52 goals for Southern Districts in the Northern Territory over the summer.
He will play his first game for the Lions in their season-opener against Deniliquin Rams on Saturday.
“He’s playing this week,” new coach Ben James said.
“We’ve been trying to get him for a month or so.
“He’s mates with Will Farrer, Dean Staunton and Matt Cannard and played with them up north.
“He has really turned himself around and is keen to get back in the system.
“He’s playing for the season and really wants to give it a crack.”
Taylor played four games for the Tigers in 2010 after being selected with pick 51 in the 2009 national draft.
He played a handful of games for Walla in the Hume league in 2012, with a 10-goal haul against Murray Magpies the highlight.
The high-flying forward will be one of more than a dozen players to play their first game for Mulwala on Saturday.
“That’s what’s exciting for us,” James said.
“We’ve got a completely new crew so you just don’t know what to expect.
“Everyone is very excited.”
Many have tipped the new-look Lions to fall down the ladder after making last year’s grand final.
James isn’t so sure.
“We’ve set a goal to make finals,” he said.
“Obviously, we can only take it one step at a time but I’m confident in our group.”
James said his club had a tough assignment first-up.
“Deni at Deni is always tough, by all reports,” he said.
“They’ve got a lot of experience in big situations, so we’ll have to be on our game.”
In other matches, Barooga will unleash its swag of recruits on the road at Moama.
The Hawks won just one game last year but are tipped to soar under new coach Leigh Ramsdale.
Finley travels to Numurkah, Congupna tackles Rumbalara and Cobram hosts Nathalia.
Reigning premier Echuca United opens its defence at Tongala.