Michael Rampal has joined Holbrook in a major coup for the Hume league premiership hopefuls.
But the 36-year-old, who also won Thurgoona's best and fairest last season, has put pen to paper in a deal which further strengthens a Brookers midfield full of quality.
"I'm rapt," Rampal said.
"I'm not someone who jumps into something without having a look at it and Holbrook ticks all the boxes for me in regard to my domestic responsibilities and being a little bit closer to home.
"They're in a fantastic, exciting window and that really appeals to me at my age.
"I'm not a club-hopper and I've got a really good reputation down at Thurgoona which I'm hoping to keep intact."
Rampal made 50 senior appearances during five years with the Bulldogs, playing in two TDFL grand finals including the win over Barnawartha in 2019.
He was a man in demand at the end of last season after becoming only the second Thurgoona player to be named the league's best and fairest.
"It's been very humbling," Rampal said.
"My reputation got to some places before I did and some of the talk that happened behind closed doors was as much about what I do off the field as on it.
"The opportunity came up to have a run at Myrtleford so I went out there and loved every second of it. I love the level, they welcomed me, (coach) Jake Sharp was fantastic to deal with and the boys were great to train with.
"My ego said 'yes' but I've got three beautiful kids who are young - one of them's not in school yet - and my wife travels for work interstate and overseas so I had to have something that would work for all my considerations.
"When it came down to it, that was the main factor.
"If I was going to leave a place I was in love with, which is Thurgoona, I'd be going somewhere to play finals.
"Holbrook have been there or thereabouts for the last couple of years, they've recruited really well and I can fit my family life around playing there."
Rampal trained with his new team-mates for the first time on Wednesday night.
"The club and the president didn't put any pressure on me," he said.
"I met up with them after last season, had a chat with them and the rest is history.
"They've got brand new club rooms getting built, they're a family-orientated club and they're passionate about their football.
"I'm an entertainer.
"I like to entertain on the football field and I'm really grateful I get the opportunity to contribute to community sport again at my age.
"I think people look at my age and they're a little bit surprised I'm still going.
"I did have 11 years off football, so I've looked after my body but I also understand nothing's guaranteed in sport; whether it's my performance, injuries or COVID.
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"I think Holbrook are in their window, from the research I've done, and I feel great. I'm looking forward to contributing to the team."
Brookers coach Matt Sharp was thrilled to have recruited Rampal.
"Michael will be our marquee player," Sharp said.
"He's very driven and he knows what it takes to get success having played in a number of premierships at Thurgoona.
"He's a role model, the way he presents himself and he looks super-fit.
"We did our homework on what type of player we'd be recruiting and the opposition teams we spoke to said 'can you get him out of our league?'
"The Thurgoona blokes I know said he's a ripping fellow and that he'll add a lot to our group."
Rampal follows Andrew Mackinlay, Michael Oates, Kolby Heiner-Hennessy and Brad Carman in bolstering Holbrook's list ahead of the season-opener away to Osborne on April 2.
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