TRIPLE Thurgoona premiership forward Sam Cross has returned to original club Corryong after 13 seasons in the Ovens and Murray and Tallangatta and District leagues.
Cross played his last match for the Demons in the 2006 grand final against Federal before moving to Albury through employment.
The classy forward is presently working in Melbourne and will travel back for matches.
"My old man (Vinnie) has been trying for a few years to get me back to Corryong," the 30-year-old said.
"He loves his footy and Corryong.
"I might struggle to get to every game but I thought it was a good opportunity to help out my home club as it's been through a fair bit with the fires, COVID-19 and talk of the league folding.
"I'm looking forward to it."
Cross spent the first two years of his life in Corryong before the family moved to Fremantle for 13 years.
He then returned to the Demons and played seniors in 2006 under Kane Arendarcikas.
"I played a couple of games with Dad when I was younger before I moved to Albury with work," he said.
"Mitch Harris (senior coach) was playing back then too.
"It's always good going back to your home club."
Although Corryong has slipped off the pace in recent years, Cross said Harris's enthusiasm would be contagious.
"Mitch is very passionate and that's what the club needs," he said.
"He's putting in a lot of work."
Cross played 99 matches for Thurgoona after crossing from Albury in 2014 and starred in three premierships.
He also captained the Bulldogs.
Harris said Cross would be a huge acquisition with his experience and skill in the Upper Murray.
"I gave Sam a call before our annual general meeting and said 'how about we get the band back together'," Harris said.
"We've always spoken about him coming back and the time just seemed right.
"We're really excited to have a player of his calibre and a person of his character back involved with the club."
Corryong started pre-season training earlier this week and is hoping to announce more signings in coming weeks.
The Demons have put a focus on luring former players back to the club.
"My endeavour is to personally contact everyone who has played for Corryong since 2016 and extend an invitation to them to help us rebuild our footy club," he said.
With Federal committing to fielding a senior team last week, five clubs will kick off the season in April.
Meanwhile, the Upper Murray league recently advertised for an operations officer.