LAKE Wendouree has landed one of the recruiting coups of the year, securing former Greater Western Sydney footballer and two-time VFL best and fairest winner Steve Clifton for Saturday's Ballarat Football League clash against Bacchus Marsh.
In what is the one of the biggest signings in the Lakers' history, Clifton will return to the club where his football career started as his side tries to keep its undefeated start to the season alive.
Joining cousin Sam Clifton, who is playing his 250th game for Lake Wendouree, the 26-year-old will clash with former North Ballarat Roosters premiership teammate Cam Richardson, who is in his first year coaching the Cobras.
Lakers president Dave Clifton said it was expected the former GWS Giant would only play a minimal number of games for the Lakers this season; Saturday against Bacchus Marsh and possibly one more.
Lake Wendouree faces the bye next week, before Melton South in round five, which Clifton is also expected to play.
He returned from being overseas during the week and is expected to again be off-shore within a month.
The Lakers boss said he hoped his nephew would be able to pull on a blue, green and gold jumper on a permanent basis in the coming years.
"We want to make it a good proposition for Steve in the future," he said.
"He played all his junior footy here and it would be great to have him back here one day on a full-time basis."
A two-time winner of the prestigious JJ Liston trophy for VFL best and fairest in 2010 and 2013, Clifton had a promising AFL career cut short by a number of injuries.
He was drafted by the Giants as a rookie in 2012, playing his first season in the North East Australian Football League.
He spent one season in the AFL in 2011, where he played five senior games in an injury-interrupted season before being delisted.
Lake Wendouree will travel to Bacchus Marsh today, in a battle of two undefeated sides.