Controversial Bacchus Marsh premiership hero Jarrah Maksymow is returning to the Ballarat Football League.
Maksymow has signed with Sunbury.
He is reuniting with his Cobras premiership coach Travis Hodgson, who is in his first season as Lions head coach.
Maksymow was also a late signing for Bacchus Marsh in 2016, joining from Hodgson's former club North Albury in the Ovens and Murray league.
A dynamic power forward, the now 27-year-old was instrumental in the Cobras securing their first BFL flag in his first year at Maddingley Park.
He spent two seasons with the Cobras, leaving shortly before the start of the 2018 season, and played with with Henty in the Hume league. He has not played this season.
Bacchus Marsh publicly cited at the time it released him that it was "parting ways" with Maksymow after personal issues resulted in his commitment to the club and teammates waning during the 2018 pre-season training campaign.
Maksymow also had similar issues meeting team rules during the 2017 season and incurred a club ban which led to him missing four senior matches.
Sunbury president Hedley Duhau said the Lions had opened negotiations with Maksymow after he approached the Lions, expressing a desire to reignite his football career under the guidance of Hodgson.
Duhau said Maksymow had a high regard for Hodgson.
Maksymow's 2018 season with Henty ended abruptly in September when he walked away from a match at half-time to flee police. He was arrested two days later.
He spent eight months in custody before being granted bail in April.
Duhau said everyone deserved a second chance.
He said he had learned while working in mental health for 15 years that in circumstances like this it was important to get around people and work on enhancing the strengths of the individuals.
"It's about our club supporting him."
Duhau said he believed Sunbury had the right culture for Maksymow.
He said it was about the club supporting and working with him, rather than the onus being on Maksymow to fit in with the club.
"I believe our club is inclusive and we can give him the support he needs - not just as a footballer, but as a person. You have to consider the humanstic side."
Duhau said the decision to sign him had not been taken lightly, with the club committee's executive, all coaches at all levels (seniors, reserves and under-19s), player leadership group and most of the senior playing group involved in extensive discussions as part of the process.
He said he had also discussed the move with longstanding supporters to ensure the right decision was made.
Duhau said while there was no doubt Maksymow was an elite player, only time would tell what impact he had on Sunbury's season.
"All I can say is the team is on the improve."
He is likely to make his debut for the Lions in the reserves against Ballarat at Clarke Oval on Saturday.