Bungaree premiership player Mitch Bruns is set for a return to the Central Highlands Football League, but will not run out with his former club.
Instead, Bruns has joined coach Greg Middleton at Skipton for the 2019 season.
Middleton was at the helm when the Demons and Bruns won the flag in 2014, but now coaches the Emus.
Bruns has lodged a clearance from Heathcote District league side Leitchville Gunbower, where he has played since leaving Bungaree at the end of 2016.
The 27-year-old has aspirations of a coaching career and has joined the Emus as an assistant to Middleton.
"I approached (Middleton) after moving to Geelong over summer about footy and looking to start a coaching career in the future because my body is stuffed and I haven’t got many years left in my body," Bruns told The Courier.
"Then things went from there.
"Midda and I have a great friendship and a great player/coach relationship so I thought it would be a great opportunity to work with him and try to help Skipton out."
The gun half back was one of the stars of the Central Highlands competition during his time with Bungaree and produced a miracle recovery from a hamstring injury to play in the grand final win against Springbank. He kicked four goals and was one of the team’s best in a brilliant display.
Bruns previously played for Lake Wendouree before moving to Bungaree.
Middleton is gearing up for his third season in charge at Skipton, which he led to six wins and a 12th-placed finish last year.
The 2018 campaign was a major improvement on a winless 2017 season.
The Emus are scheduled to take on Gordon in round one of the new campaign on Saturday, March 30.