It's been revealed COVID has played a pivotal role in Corowa-Rutherglen's recent recruiting blitz.
The Roos signed former players and good mates Jy Lane, Will Robinson and Bill Hansen earlier this week.
Privately, some clubs suggest it's never been more difficult to recruit, either interstate or from the two Territories, given Victoria and NSW have been the hardest hit COVID states.
The Ovens and Murray has a split of six Victorian and four NSW teams respectively.
But the fact Victoria has had such extensive lockdown periods has worked in the Roos' favour.
"I've barely seen my family during COVID and there's the opportunity to play under (brother) Joe as well, as captain, we're pretty close and we played a couple of years together and it will be good to see him regularly," Hansen offered.
The 24-year-old last played for the club in 2016, prior to a three-year stint with Bellarine League outfit Modewarre, where he won a flag in the middle season.
The 178cm rugged on-baller spent last season with Essendon District club Moonee Valley.
Lane and Robinson left the Roos after 2017 to join Newtown and Chilwell Football Cub in Geelong.
"A few stars aligned, it's an exciting time for the club and the town of Corowa and probably the biggest reason was getting to play with close mates, as well as in front of my family, I haven't been able to see them the last few years," Robinson suggested.
At 190cms and 88kgs, Robinson played either forward or on a wing.
Lane spent much of his time at Newtown at half-back.
"I just thought this year would be the year to do it," he revealed.
"I've always wanted to come back to Corowa, I feel like they're going well.
"I get to play with my mates and also see my family, I haven't been able to come home and see my family for a while."
The 22-year-old was troubled by knee and shoulder complaints, but Newtown team-mate Robinson says he still showed his ability in the powerful Geelong Football League.
"If Jy gets through unscathed and doesn't have any injuries like he's had the past few years, he's a top player and tore a few games apart down here," he explained.
The Roos recently welcomed back another former player in Callum Spencer, so they've not only gained a jump on the other clubs, but have set the template for attracting former players home during COVID.
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"There's not much like playing for your home club really, especially a little town like Corowa, the footy club's the main hub of the town, we have great supporters every week and big grounds as well, the footy here is very congested and there's better weather," Robinson said.
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