North Albury's hopes of snaring the premiership have received a monster boost with junior product Ben Fulford returning to the Cricket Albury-Wodonga club.
The wicketkeeper-bat starred in Saturday's five-wicket win over Tallangatta and has committed to the entire season.
"Yep, I'm Cricket Albury-Wodonga's problem this year, so that will be fun," he joked.
Fulford finished his schooling at Murray High School in 2012 and has spent an extended period in Canberra.
He played for the ACT under 17 and 19 teams, facing the likes of current Australian T20 star Ashton Agar and Test bat Marnus Labuschagne.
"I was pretty lucky to see those blokes as a young fella, they're next level," he admitted.
But after moving through the highly competitive junior system, Fulford walked away.
"When I was up there I had six years off cricket after completing the Pathways Programs," he revealed.
"It just wasn't for me at the end of the day and I just needed to get away from cricket."
Fulford is also a talented footballer who played with Echuca in the Goulburn Valley Football League last season and is expected to remain there.
But prior to that, he would love to help the Hoppers return to the top after Lavington stole the title last season.
"I've slowly fallen back in love with the game again and that's what it does to you," he suggested.
I've slowly fallen back in love with the game again and that's what it does to you.- North Albury's Ben Fulford on returning to cricket full-time
Fulford last played full-time with the Hoppers in 2011-12.
He played three games last season and showed in the win over Tallangatta why he will be so important.
Fulford hammered an unbeaten 40 from just 26 balls, clocking five boundaries and two sixes, at No. 3.
ALSO IN SPORT:
He's joined swashbuckling duo Ash Borella and David Farrell in the top order and if coach Matt Condon returns from hip surgery, as hoped, the Hoppers will boast an 'awesome foursome'.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.