A long-time connection with East Albury's first-year coach Brett Davies and the need for change was behind Matt Tom's move to the Crows.
Tom arrived at Lavington in 2017-18 while completing his university course and played in two premierships during his four seasons.
He struck 2361 runs for the Panthers at 34, including three second grade games.
"It was probably a couple of different reasons, but a change of scenery was probably the main one, I felt like for my own cricket I needed a change to get back to my best really," he admitted.
"Probably the last year or two I wasn't playing my best and not enjoying my cricket as much as I normally would."
Tom's former Lake Albert (Wagga) premiership team-mate Davies had spent three years with Lavington, the last two with Tom, but joined East Albury for 2019-20.
"My family's got a really good friendship with Brett," Tom confirmed.
"He played with my dad (Bruce) in first grade at Lake Albert and when I was a young fella I was around the club and got to know him and then we obviously played together there and also at Lavington.
"He's outgoing and likeable, he really makes it collective, no one feels like they're on their own.
"When you're playing in a team with Brett he picks people up and gets them to go with him, he's been the same with every club I've played with him at and he's a really good leader."
The 23-year-old has settled quickly at his new home and is currently fifth on the association's leading run-scorers with 140 at 35 in the T20 format.
"At 'Lavi', the first couple of years there, if I wasn't the youngest, I was probably the second youngest," he revealed.
"At East Albury, there's still a few older guys there, but I'm more of a senior player now, especially when we have a number of younger players like Miles (Hemann-Petersen) and Max (Diffey).
"My role has changed now in that the top order needs someone who can bat long and make big runs and just let the other young guys develop their cricket through the middle order."
Tom boasts one of the highest scores of the opening eight rounds after blasting an unbeaten 71 from only 55 balls against North Albury on debut.
The Hoppers are the competitition favourites with an outstanding new-ball attack, so it showed Tom's ability to adapt quickly to the shorter format, whereas he had carried a reputation as a player better suited to the longer version.
The Crows will be looking for Tom to lead the charge away to St Patrick's on Saturday.
IN OTHER NEWS:
Wodonga is home to Albury, North Albury hosts Belvoir, Wodonga Raiders are home to Lavington, while Tallangatta hosts Corowa.
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