The Ovens and Murray Football League is in the 'sweet spot' for full-time Wodonga player Josh Clayton.
The former Brisbane Lions' midfielder racked up a century of state league games last season, combining it with five matches at the Bulldogs.
When Clayton first signed with Wodonga 12 months ago, he indicated he will be a permanent player in 2022.
"I'll be full-time next year, which is exciting," he offered.
"I played the six games last season because that would get me to 100 state league games, so at this point I'll put a line through the VFL career and play for Wodonga in country footy.
"I'll give that a go and experience it, for the couple of games I did play, it's obviously a lot different to the VFL, just the vibe, so it's pretty cool."
Clayton played two games with the Lions between 2015-2017 and then joined Wodonga coach Jordan Taylor at Southport, where the Sharks defeated the Sydney Swans' reserves to claim the NEAFL grand final by 55 points.
He finished third in the league's MVP and was also named in the Team of the Year.
Clayton rounded out his state league stints with Werribee and North Melbourne in the VFL in 2019 and 2021 respectively.
"With the VFL, obviously with the amount of time you have to spend at the club, if I can do my training during the week and then come up on the weekend and play, it will be a bit easier," he revealed.
Clayton turns 26 next month, so he's in the prime of his career.
And that's a terrific boost for the Bulldogs as they plan a return to finals.
The Bulldogs have recruited a number of players, including boom Canberra duo Angus Baker and Alex Smout.
Coach Taylor has said publicly he was after improvement in the first year, which the Bulldogs did, posting four wins, and is expecting to play finals next year.
ALSO IN SPORT
But that won't be easy given the league's bumper off-season recruiting.
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.