Jordan Harrington has signed for Dederang-Mt Beauty in a move the club hopes will help turn them into premiership contenders.
After six years at Lockhart, the 25-year-old has also taken on a assistant coaching role with the Bombers.
Harrington will be reunited at Dederang with his close friend and former Demons team-mate Blake Jones.
"It was a very hard decision," Harrington said.
"There's a few things with my work which meant I had to leave Lockhart. I didn't really want to but I'm pretty excited to go to Dederang now.
"My girlfriend, Georgie McCallum, plays netball at Henty and we wanted to play somewhere together.
"I've got a couple of mates at Dederang and I like the direction they're going. I looked into a lot of their players, they're all pretty young and the club has been first-class to deal with."
Gus MacLeod, the Bombers' head of recruitment, believes landing the former SANFL midfielder is a game-changer for the club.
"This shows we mean business," MacLeod said.
"Jordan is one of the top-end talents we wanted to bring to the club to help elevate the players we already have on our list and bolster our push to play finals footy.
"It's no longer the dream at Dederang, we expect to play finals now and we really want to push for silverware. We strongly believe now, with the core group we've got and bringing in some more talent, that becomes a very realistic expectation."
Harrington was Lockhart's best and fairest last season, finishing joint-seventh in the Hume League vote count, and he's set to join forces with Elliott Powell in Dederang's midfield.
"I rate Jordy right up there with Elliott," Bombers coach Damien Jones said.
"We targeted Jordy halfway through the year; Elliott was doing everything by himself so we needed another midfielder to get him some help.
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"Jordy's seen what him and Elliott could do together and it's one of the best duos in the Tallangatta league. Hopefully they both stay injury-free and have a good year because that'll go a long way towards where we want to go as a team.
"We want to really throw our hat in the ring. As Yackandandah showed this year, you only need to get a few recruits and start believing in what you're capable of.
"They went from eighth to the top of the ladder so one pre-season can make all the difference."
Harrington had interest from other clubs but is relishing the challenge of TDFL football over the next few years.
"It was always going to be Dederang," he said.
"I might go back to Lockhart one day if things work out well. Lockhart is a great club and they've been very good to me.
"It's pretty sad to leave and I want to thank them for the last six years."
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